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Talks on Teaching 

How TO Study Geography 

Primary Course in Arithmetic 

$1 25 

I 50 




MY WIFE, Frank Stuart Parker, 




t A L m^'^^c^^G O G 1 C S. 

AN OUTLIN?'fe<^Af^E 'Ofif G^ 








Copyright, 1894, 


Francis W. Parker. 


Electrotyped and Printed by 

Robert Drummond, New York City, 

U. S. A. 


These " Talks " were given at the Teachers' Retreat, Chau- 
tauqua Assembly, New York, July, 1891/'' Their popular form 
has been changed to text for close study. Many repetitions 
have been omitted, but leaving, as the reader will find, a suffi- 
cient number to maintain the reputation of an average teacher. 
The experience of three years has naturally brought other 
changes, suggesting modifications and additions. 

The discussion of the doctrine of Concentration presented in 
this book is the outcome of work done in the Cook County 
Normal School. 

In 1883 I resigned my position as one of the Supervisors of 
the Boston schools in order to come into closer range and con- 
tact with children's minds. The work done in Quincy was a 
slight beginning of something far better. 

Of the special direction of progress, the ideal was vague — not 
in the clear. On e th ing, however, appeared right — that 'the nat- 
ural sciences and history should be put into the primary school, 
made an essential part of the course for eight years; and that 
reading and language lessons might spring from the thought 
aroused from tlie study of the central subjects. Another propo- 
sition presented itself with great force: that pupils under proper 

* They were also given at the New York Teachers' Training College, the 
University of Minnesota, and the Cook County Normal Summer School. 


iv Preface. 

conditions could be led to govern themselves; that punishments, 
per-cents, and rewards were, to say the least, not necessary. 

A corps of very earnest teachers went to work upon these 
ideas. Whatever one teacher discovered was contributed to 
the general treasury. Every point was discussed in our weekly 
faculty meetings. My first intimation of Concentration came 
from the principles of Delsarte in his doctrine of the reaction of 
vocal and pantomimic expression upon the mind; these prin- 
ciples were applied to all the modes of expression. 

The main purpose steadily developed itself. For methods 
of arousing and sustaining a body of educative thought, we looked 
in the direction of elementary science, geograpb}^, myth, and 

Prof, and Mrs. H. H. Straight, of blessed memory, were en- 
thusiastic believers in science for children. Prof. Straight had 
learned methods from Agassiz. A beginning in science teach- 
ing was made under his guidance, and it was soon found that 
reading, writing, indeed all language, could be profitably taught 
in connection with science lessons. The same discovery was 
made in regard to geography, myth, and history. The first idea 
of the unification of arithmetic and science came from Prof. 
Straight. Miss Mary E. Burt assisted very much in literature. 
Miss Ellen Montfort began modeling, painting, and diawing 
as a means of teaching science, geography, and history. Miss 
Harriet Iredell brought to light what I consider one of the most 
remarkable discoveries ever made in the School — the ability of 
little children to rapidly write words and sentences upon the 
blackboard under the impulse of thought. 

I could not name one of the present faculty without naming 
them all; each one joins in the investigations with the utmost 
zeal and persistence. Most of them are well known to American 
teachers through their books and discussions of special sub- 
/ No one will misunderstand these lines by supposing that the 
^ School claims originality in either discoveries or methods. The 

Preface. ' v 

rule is, that whatever any teacher effectively applies, he must dis- 
cover for himself. 

The psychology of Herbart, and the doctrine of Concentration 
enunciated and applied by his disciples, Ziller, Stoy, and Rein, 
have been a source of inspiration and a guide in the general 
direction of the work. 

I must not fail to mention another never-failing source, the 
fundamental dbcti'ine out of which, as a germ, the principles of 
Concentration are being developed; that is, the teachings of the 
founder of. the Kindergarten — Froebel. From him we get the 
sublime idea of the unity of the human spirit; the vmity of 
creation and the Creator: all life for one life, and each for 

The faculty of the Cook County Normal School has had one 
great advantage : as one corps of teachers they have worked ear- 
nestly and honestly to find and apply the truth under the work- 
ing hypothesis of Concentration; at every step, changes and 
modifications have been made, devices have been given up and 
new ones cheerfully accepted, materials and topics have been 
arranged and rearranged. 

The initial steps in this work have been taken, and enough 
has been done to prove that the direction is right. The doc- 
trine of Co ncen tration in itself is a science of education that will 
absorb the attention of thoughtful teachers for centuries; it 
contains an ideal that is infinite in its possibilities. 

The study of education as a science is imperatively demanded 
of all teachers who beliere that the common school is the cen- 
tral means to preserve and perpetuate true democracy. The 
teacher's profession is one day to stand at the head of all pro- 
fessions. It will take its true place when teachers exalt it by 
honest efficient study of the laws of being and a wise and 
courageous application of the truth found. 

This book is a contribution to those of the profession who see 
an endless vista of better things for the children. The ques- 
tions appended, the contents and marginal headings, are to lead 

vi Preface. 

students to a better understanding of the text, and above all, a 
just and righteous criticism. 

I am more than Avilling to see every principle here enunciated 
fall to the ground under logical and convincing reason. Some 
one has said that the greatest invention of the nineteenth cen- 
tury is the "suspended judgment." I sincerely trust that in 
publishing this book I shall not in any way compromise my 
attitude towards truth by clinging to any statement here made 
when it is shown to be incorrect, or when something better is 

Francis W. Parker. 

Cook County Normal School, Jan. 23, 1894. 


Chapter I. — The Child 3 

Unity— What is the child?— The organism determines the development- 
External energies— Spontaneous aetivities—Music—Faucy— Creative power- 
Myth- What is the myth?— Development of the myth in the race— Myth the 
beginning of history — Myth and science- Myth the beginning of religion— Santa 
Clans— Myth the beginning, truth the end— The child studies anthropology— The 
child and history— Zoology— Botany— Comparisons— Physics— Meteorology— 
Mineralogy— Geography— The child is spontaneously interested in all subjects 
of thouglit— Limitations of the environment — Tlie child's physical acquire- 
ments ia the first three years of its life— Learning language— Idioms— The child 
is unconscious of tlie forms of attention and expression— Learning to write— 
Form— Preparation to learn number— Unity of action— The child full of activ- 
ity — Modes of expression — Manual work — The child a born artist — Lessons 
taught by a study of the child's spontaneous activities— Following nature— 
What the child loves— Dead forms. 

Chapter II. — Central Subjects op Study 25 

Brief definitions of education— Economy of educative efloi-t— Wasted effort 
—Purpose of the doctrine of concentration— Unity— Central subjects— All study 
is study of the invisible— Geography— Definition of geography— Necessity of 
exact definitions- Geology— Prof. Chamberlin's illustration— Relation of geog- 
raphy to geology— Effect and cause— Instinctive action of the child— Psycho- 
logical definition of geography— Opportunities to study geology and geography 
—Mineralogy— Opportunities to study mineralogy— Relation of mineralogy to 
geology— Relation of mineralogy to geography— Change— Physics and chem- 
istry—The atmosphere— Sunshine and heat^Definition of meteorology— Sub- 
jects that relate to sciences of inorganic matter— Relation of the sciences of 
inorganic matter to life— Environment of life— Botany— Dependence of plant- 
life upon its environment— Dependence of living organisms upon their environ- 
ment—The record of paleontology— Coverings of animals— Primary study of 
zoology— Anthropology— Community hfe— Ethnology— The Aryan race— Effects 
of structure upon peoples -Ethnology— Earth as the home of man— Influence 
of structure— Psychological relation of history to geography— Memory— The 
child begins all these subjects instinctively— Relation of form to the central 


viii Contents. 

subjects— Knowledg:e of form indispensab'.e to all study— Number— Unity of 
central subjects in function — Cause and effect — Natural law — All study is a 
study of natural laws or God's laws— Unity of studies. 

Chapter III.— Form as a Mode of Judgment . . . .47 

Resunig- Sp ice filled with matter— Definition of an object— All is everlast- 
ing change— Matter does not change itself— Energy— Laws of energy— Form, 
the product of energy— The qualities of an object determine the qualities of 
energy which acts through it— The senses— Smell and taste— Hearing— Sight- 
Touch— Knowledge of form tlie product of the tactual sense— All senses are 
tactual — All the senses evolved out of the sense of touch — Laura Bridgman — 
Helen Kellar— Touch, the subtile sense— Conscious activities non-spacial— The 
two mysteries : matter and life— Knowledge of form indispensable to the knowl- 
edge of energy— Crudeness of iodividual concepts — Agassiz and his pupils — 
Form as a mode of judgment— Educative value of form concepts— Imagination 
—Dependence of the products of observation upon the products of the imagina- 
tion—Relative value of crude concepts— Imagination the power to go beyond 
the sense grasp— Geometry— Mathematical geography— Froehel- Countless 
opportunities to study form— Weakness of students in power to imagine— Study 
of form of living organisms— Real forms and typical forms— Geometry in 
grammar schools— Conclusions. 

Chapter IV.— Number and its Eelation to the Central Sub- 
jects 63 

Prominence of arithmetic in education— Progress in teaching arithmetic — 
Discovery of arithmetic— Arithmetic essential to all human progress— Impor- 
tance of arithmetic in all practical matters— The truly practical— What is num- 
ber ?— Preparation for numbers by a child's spontaneous activities— Beginnings 
of number — Necessity of careful definitions— Form and size— Size — The child's 
first attempts to know distance — Distance, area, volume — Creeping and walking 
—Necessity of exact measurements— Necessity of accuracy and exactness- 
Relation of form to size— Number in geography— Areas of continents— Oppor- 
tunities for exercising the judgment in numbering- Imagination— Arithmetic 
in mathematical geography — Seek the centre — Density and weight— Size and 
weight— J] ensuring forces— Time— History— Single things— Feeling of right- 
Equivalent values— Money— Selfishness cultivated by a prolonged study of 
money values— Relation of arithmetic to the sciences— Relation to geography- 
Feeling the necessity of number— Mere recollection without judgment— Practi- 
cal application of all number study to the study of all the central subjects. 

Chapter V. — What can be done with Numbers? . . .81 

Investigation as to the nature of numbers— All that can be done with a 
number— Division— Division of a number into equal parts— The difference be- 
tween dividing a number into equal numbers and dividing a number into equal 
parts — Great importance of understanding this diffeience — Subtraction— Three 
kinds of division — What can be done with numbers? — Numbers can be united- 
Definitions of the five operations— Definition of division illustrated— Partition- 
Partition defined— Factors in partition— Partition illustrated— Subtraction de- 
flned— Multiphcation defined— Definition of multiplication illustrated— Addition 
—Attention called to the truth of the definitions— Should an arithmetical sentence 

Contents. ix 

mean two things?— Is the quotient in arithmetic an abstract number?— We 
learn to judge by judging— Definition of attention— So-called facts of number 
matters of mere recollection— Exercise of judgment— Development of number 
in the race— How should the numbering faculty be developed in the child? — 
Begin with the actual knowledge of the child— What is it to know number?— 
What numerical facts should be known automatically?— Numerical facts that 
should be known automatically, classified — How should automatic knowledge 
be acquired?— Children should learn number by counting money— Relation of 
number to drill— Teaching the five operations together— Illustrations of Llie rela- 
tion of the five operations — Notation and numeration— Fractions — Necessities 
of mental action determine what should be taught— Illogical arrangement of 
subjects in the text-books— Complex forms, confusion of terms— Fractions 
should be taught at every step— Decimal fractions— U. S. money— Compound 
numbers— Practical subjects and educational subjects are a unit— Percentage 
. — Interest — Proportion— Square root — Cube root. 

Chapter VI.— Attention 107 

Tentatively defined— Relation of external energies to the mind— Light- 
Sound— Elementary idea— Matter— External attribute— Correspondence to an 
attribute— The brain determines the energies which may act through it— Special- 
ized functions of the brain — Action of attributes — Function of the brain— Mental 
action and brain action— Cause and effect— The child born deaf, dumb, and blind 
—Units of elementary ideas— Analysis of external olijefts— Automatic action of 
external objects— Instantaneous action of objects — Synthesis, association, unifi- 
cation, recollection, the same mental act— Analysis, comparison, classification 
—Attitude of the body and mind in sense action— Inhibition— Errors arising 
from not understanding the unconscious process of synthesis — Creation of 
elementary ideas— Recapitulation— What is an educative act?— Spontaneous 
activity and intense activity, discriminated— An act of attention defined— 
The ego— An act of conscious intensity illustrated— Limitations of the ego- 
Hemming states of consciousness —Power of attention— Acts of attention in 
reading— Definition re-stated— Education by self-activity— Limitations of self- 
activity— Three modes of attention— Thinking not in itself educative— Each 
state of consciousness consists of all the kinds of possible conscious action — 
Synthesis — Inference — Intensity of conscious activities— The three modes of at- 
tention defined- Educative value of an act of observation— Individual concept 
—Two classes of objects— A symbol— Appropriate activities— Corresponding ac- 
tivities—Symbolic action of all objects— Immediate efliect of symbols— Effect of 
words illustrated— Law of word functioning— Two classes of symbols— Partial 
symbols— Pure symbols— Process of functioning a symbol— Hearing-language— 
Reading defined— Function of observation— The body an instrument of atten- 
tion—An act of attention analyzed— Motive explained— Physical attitude of 
attention— Unity of the whole being in an act of attention— LTnity of action illus- 
trated — Attention in physical training — Motive of physical training— Great im- 
portance of perfect unity in acts of attention— How unscientific teaching can 
destroy the unity of action— The least possible attention to the forms of words 
— Interest overcoming difficulties — The habit of attention — Brain exhaustion by 
acts of attention — Too long continued acts of attention exhaust the body and 
weaken the mind— Muscular exercise— Cultivated power of attention— Habit of 
^.ttention very slowly cultivated— Great mistake in cultivating attention— Watch 

X Contents. 

the child— Following one series of subjects— The child begins all subjects spon- 
taneously—The danger of trjMng to exhaust one subject, illustrated— Prejudg- 
ments— Teaching— Definition of education— No one can really ever study a sub-- 
ject without loving that subject — Goal of all true study. 

Chapter VII.— Observation 141 

Observation defined-" Correspondence "— " Individual concept "—" Indi- 
vidual "—Relation of the ego to the external objects— Definitions— External 
attribute— Elementary idea— Individual concept— Relation of elementary ideas 
and individual concepts to knowledge — Inference, recognition, analysis, com- 
parison, classification, generalization— Crude individual concepts— An adequate 
concept defined- All analyses and comparisons depend upon individual concepts 
—Classification— Adequate concepts purely ideal— Practical value of individual 
concepts — External energies which act upon consciousness— Sense products 
undervalued — The savage — Why the savage is not educated — Motive — Acuteness ' 
and sharpness not education— Motives compared— Hypothesis of evolution- 
Symbols— Educative value of the study of books— Books the means of perpetu- 
ating human authority — The educative value of reading and observation com- 
pared — Divine power of external energies — Myth — Myth, the pathway to truth — 
Human and divine authority— Goethe— The study of history— Scientific hisl:ory 
— What is true history? — Personal experience the one basis of judgment — "He 
■who possesses the youth, possesses the future "—Dogmatic teaching— Science— 
Text-books upon science— Wrecks of theories— Danger of text-book science— The 
"suspended judgment " — Definition of education — Inertia and ciii-iositj- — Obser- 
vation a means of cultivating love for truth — Laboratories of science— Plea for 
children's laboratories— Ignorance of teachers the reason why science is not 
taught to little children— Should a child go through the experiences of the race? 
— No royal road to learning — Immutable laws— All education liy self-educative 
effort — What the past has brought the child— The delusion of books — Economy 
of energy— Education defined— Wasted energy — Conscious acts of observation 
and of imagination the same in kind— Imagination — Relation of imagination to 
observation— Observing powers of great scientists— Reading not the key to all 
knowledge — Reading and imagination — Vague conscious activities — Getting the 
thought of the author not scientific— Quality of acts of imagination— Text-book 
geography — Field excursions — Text-books in natural science — The text-book of 
nature— Opportunities to study nature— Loving nature— Literature for children 
—Genuineness— Inspiratioa of all great authors— Relation of the products of 
observation to all study and thinking— Ethical use of science— Elementary 
science should be taught throughout the whole school course— Opportunities 
for studying science— Geography— Geology— Meteorology— Zoology— History— 
That which is of most use is least taught — Newfangled notions— One study — 

Chapter VIII.— Language and Hearing -language . . . 173 

Relation of thought to language— Relation of the body to the mind— Effect 
of emotions— Influence of the body upon the mind— The mind creates the body 
—The relation of language to a people— Dialect defined— The origin of language 
— Language indicates civilization — Philology — Language indicates environment 
—The value of the study of dead languages- Greek— Relation of literature to 
history— How a child learns language— Hearing-language and speech two things 

Contents. xi 

—Obstacles which a child overcomes in learning to hear language— Pronuncia- 
tion, enunciation, and articulation— Mastery of idioms— Function of a word— 
Voice— Articulate sounds— Pronunciation analyzed— Functioning words— Law 
by which words are learned— Appropriate activities— Law re-stated— Relation of 
intensity to repetitions— Interest— The child conscious of the whole word only 
— Illustrations— How idioms are learned — Relation of words to tliought — What 
a child acquires in three years— How parents teach children to hear language- 
Adaptation of language to thought— The word " natural "—Imitation— How 
should language teaching be continued when a child enters school? — Language 
should conform to thought— Grammar — How shall grammar be taught?— Uses 
of language— No necessity for purely formal study— New conditions of educa- 

Chapter IX. — Reading and its Relations to the Central Sub- 
jects 188 

Reading as a mode of attention— Reading not to be confounded with oral 
reading— Value of reading— Reading in itself not moral— The educative value- 
Reading the greatest factor in education— Reading not getting the author's 
thought— Reading defined— Relation of reading to study— Function of reading— 
A word is an object— Correspondence of a word— The word and the sentence- 
Study of psycliology— Instantaneous action of a word— Functioning of words— 
The law by which every word is learned— One act of association not generally 
sufficient to function a word— Guide in learning method— Principles— The word 
the obstacle to be overcome— Short sketch of the history of teaching reading- 
Alphabet method— Phonic and phonetic methods— Tlioiight method— Or6is 
picfus— Normal Worter-Methode— Word method— Gallaudet, Webb, Farnham— 
Emotions of pleasure aroused by appropriate activities— The will— Interest- 
Difficulties overcome by the child in learning oral language— The oral word 
more complex than the written word— What the child brings to the \\ ork of 
learning to read— What does the child love best?— Natural science— Language 
should grow with the thought— Unconscious acquirement— Intense mental 
action— Writing— Time spent in teaching reading— Theory of concentration- 
Teaching reading talies no appreciable time— An old hypotliesis— Hypothesis 
of concentration- Reproduction of tliought — Transference of habit — Imitation 
— Making unnecessary difficulties— Unity of action — First oral reading — Relation 
of oral language to reading— Assistance of the oral word in teaching reading- 
A, B, C method— Mental action absorbed in form— Voice of the child an indica- 
tion of a wrong method— Phonic method— Phonetic method— Wi-itten English 
language fearfully and wonderfully made — Phonetic methods— Apparent results 
— Unity of action broken — The word method not a Chinese method — Psychology 
of seeing objects— Attention to form obstructs mental action— Absorption of 
the mind in educative thought— Right use of phonics— Unity of action not broken 
—Power of analogy— True use of woids— Study— Learning pages verbatim— The 
pedant— Use of reading in education — Interest in reading continually strength- 
ened — Concentration of reading upon central subjects — Children should read 
nothing but literatm-e— Pronunciation of words not reading. 

Chapter X. — Modes op Expression 223 

Attention and expression in evolution— Relation of attention and expression 
—Modes of expression— Products of expression— Language— Tools and instru- 

xii Contents. 

ments— Art products— Marks of tratisition from one stage of society to another 
— The greatest product of attention and expression — Important questions— Mo- 
tive in expression— Relation of motive to thought— Physical exercise— Influence 
of skill— Relation of expression to attention— Gesture— Gesture a primitive 
mode of expression— Relation of gesture to voice— Relation of gesture to music 
—Gesture and the conceptive modes of expression— Gesture and grace— Voice 
— Rhytlim— Articulate voice — Voice and music — Function of music — Music a 
means of spiritual growth — Relation of music to speech — Vocal music a physi- 
cal exercise— Music cultivates the emotions— Blaking— Making defined— Products 
of making— Self-preservation— Analysis of making as a mode of expression- 
Making as a means of physical strength— Conceptive modes of expression— Art 
modes of expression- Origin of art— Art and religion— Different uses of art— 
Hieroglyphics— Imitation— Copying not educative— Function of making— Func- 
tion of ai't in education— Educative values of the conceptive modes of expres- 
sion—Partial symbols— Materials used in art— Relation of the diiferent modes 
of art expression— Function of art to express thought — Landscape painting — 
Individual concept and its relation to forms of expression— Sequence of the 
three art modes— Physical culture in art expression— Grace— Educative use- 
Relation of the ait modes of expression to speech— Speech— Speech defined— 
Language— Obstacles to be overcome in learning to speak — Imitation — Count- 
less opportunities for exercise— Spontaneous acquisition of grammar— Lan- 
guage a mark of individual growth— Influetice of speech upon the being— Writ- 
ing— Writing the simplest mode of expression— Devices for teaching penmanship 
—Thought and writing— Speech and writing compared— Motive in writing- 
Motive in all the modes of expression— Relation of the modes of expression to 
each other— Froebel's ideal— Relation of modes of expression to the education of 
the individual— Can any one of the modes be omitted ?— Ideal of the republic- 
Personal freedom— Empirical argument for manual training— Educated in- 
capables— Laziness— The child a born worker— Educative work— Study of text- 
books— Hand-work of to-day— Moral tendency of manual training— Reading, 
writing, and arithmetic— Relation of manual training to other studies— Should 
the art modes of expression be tauglit iu the common schools ?— Vocation- 
Modes of expression as a means of character study — Conclusion. 

Chapter XI.— Unity of Expressive Acts 261 

Economy of energy— Freedom— Self-effort— Over-eifort— Unity of action- 
Unity of action in r.ttention— Functioning of the whole being— Unity of action 
defined— Teaching defined—Training— Skill— Reaction of expression— Isolated 
action— Grace— Elements of grace— Ease— Precision— Restriction and tension- 
Illustrations of the law of ease and equilibrium— Courage— The rifle— Ploughman 
—The mower— Blacksmith— The wood-chopper and penman— Overstraining— 
Grace and awkwardness— Order of development— Equilibrium— The trained 
soldier— Delsarte— Diffusion of strength— Danger of training the extremities 
first— Isolation of agents— Genuineness— Children illustrate genuineness— Voices 
of children— The orator— Wendell Phillips— The actor— Salvini— Illustrations 
of unity of action— The school that could write beautifully— Could not ex- 
press thought— Nature's training— Oral reading— Broken unity— A made ges- 
ture— Delsarte— Verbal recitation— A list of means to break unity of action- 
Psychological explanation of broken unity— Why pupils who wrote so well could 
not express thotight by writing— Self-consciousness— Self-consciousness defined 
—Pedantry— Cultivation of self-consciousness— Flattery— Public declamation— 

Contents. xiii 

Fear— False modesty— Illustrations of unnecessary fear— Fear constraining 
the mind— Self-conceit— Successful men who were dull boys— Sissy Jupe and 
Bitzer— The great transgression-Prizes— Flat-copy drawing— Overburdening— 
Educative work healthful — Overburdening caused by mental drudgery — Self- 
consciousness a disease — The first hypothesis — The second hypothesis — Is it 
possible to overcome self-consciousness?— Wasted energy— Self-confidence de- 
stroyed— Fear of making a mistake— Dull boys—" We do not want any thinking 
here "—Effect of motive— Influence of the teacher's skill— The best substitute 
for skill — Considerations that will lead a teacher to study — Motive alone will 
overcome self-consciousness — How motive may be changed — The wrong motive 
—Altruistic motive preserves unity of action. 

Chapter XII.— Acquisition of the Forms of Thought Expres- 
sion 288 

Two hypotheses— First hypothesis illustrated— Penmanship— Grammar- 
Spelling— Arithmetic— Art— Music— Elocution— The time taken for formal study 
—Second hypothesis illustrated— Concentration upon intrinsic thought— Motive 
—Thought intensified — Technical difQculties overcome— Writing — Technical 
grammar— Number— Voice— Art— Economy— Physical training— Possibilities of 
knowledge enhanced— Changes brought about under the second liypothesis— 
Speech acquired under the second hypothesis— Baby babblings- Making— Mak- 
ing without- motive— Questions in the discussion— Opportunities for the develop- 
ment of skill— Is the technique adapted to the ability of the child ?— Adequacy of 
skill— Opportunities for the exercise of art— Geography— Modeling in sand- 
Chalk modeling— Demand for exact correspondence— Copying maps not art 

Every teacher an art critic— Geology— Mineralogy— Apparatus-making— Botany 
—Painting— Courage to be crude— Zoology— History— Countless opportunities 
for expression of thought— Comparison of results— Best method to develop skill 
—Logical arrangement— Illustrations— Logical arrangement wrong— Sequence 
of difficulties perfect— Crudeness of concepts— Genuineness— Flat-copy drawing 
—Flat-copy study versus nature study— Accuracy abnormal— Confidence of the 
child— How to criticise— Do not destroy self-confidence— Critical power should 
keep pace with skill— Education is the generation of power— The typical method 
—Induction and deduction— The modeling, painting, and drawing of typical 
forms, mafcing— Development of art feeling- Cultivate genuineness- Art for 
art's sake— Theory of concentration in art— Direction of art studies— Drawing in- 
troduced for commercial value— Pioneers of art teaching— Art awaits the teacher. 

Chapter XIIL— Speech and Writing 308 

Gesture— Vocal music— Conceptive modes— Speech and writing— Mechanics 
of speech— Enunciation— Articulation— Accent— Pronunciation— The idiom— 
Pauses— Syntax and etymology— Attributes of voice— Imitation— Hearing-lan- 
guage— Learning to talk— Thought energy— Spontaneous factors of the voice- 
Unity of action- All improved methods spring from the knowledge of the child's 
spontaneous activities— Nature's methods— Writing— When should a child begin 
to write?— Analysis of penmanship— What a child brings to the work of learn- 
ing to write— Learning to talk and learning to write compared— Best possible 
position for writing— Smooth line— Desk— Chair— Position in regard to desk— 
Forearm— Paper— Wrist— Pen— The angle of 51° to 52°— Pi'inciples of the Amer- 
ican handwriting— Finger movement— Rough lines— Deformed hand— Making 
the slant with the finger movement— English "pot-hooks and hangers"— 

xiv Contents. 

Eeasons against the finger movement— Diffusion of nerve currents— Slate 
writing— Uuhealthful positions— Making the slant with the fluger unnatural 
—Argument in favor of vertical writing— Best vertical writing by the arm 
movement— First hypothesis— Methods of fluger movement— Copy-books- 
Written spelling— Compositions— Tracing letters— Second hypothesis— Method 
under second hypothesis — Writing acquired precisely as speech is acquired 
— Fundamental principle of arm movement— Method of teaching children to 
write, illustrated— Copying not allowed— Writing original sentences— Reading 
script and print— Method not an easy one for the teacher— Penmanship of the 
teacher — The organic circuit — A wonderful discovery — Oral reading— Motive in 
oral reading— Arguments against slow writing— Slow writing not educative- 
Educative writing explained— Arguments in favor of rapid writing— Spelling, 
pronunciation, and capitalization— Arm movement healthful— Skill in writing 
sunk into the automatic — Function of speech and writing— Relative value of 
speech and writing — Rapid writing to be used in all recitations— Preservation of 
written work— Eight years' practice in speech and writing— Methods of teaching 
grammar — Purpose of teaching grammar — English a grammarless language — 
Method of teaching grammar as an essential factor in all teaching— Correct lan- 
guage — The child's incorrect use of language — Rules, definitions, parsing, analy- 
sis— Ordei' of teaching the accidents of gi-ammar— Use of parsing and analysis 
—Economy of plan— Oral reading— Motive in oral reading— Criticism of reading 
—Function of oral reading— Bad effects of divorcing words from thought— Is it 
possible to preserve the child's beauty of speech? — The child unconscious of 
forms of expression— Fundamental rule for teaching oral reading— Can broken 
unity of action be restored?— Art of questioning— Cunclusion. 

Chaptek XIV.— School Government and Moral Training . 337 

Purpose of school— Method— Teaching and training— Community life- 
Fundamental rule of order— Test of a school— Initial steps in order— Highest 
qualification of a teacher— Courage— Skill— Knowledge of the individual— Tact— 
Trivialities— Work— Order defined- Selection of subjects— History— True patri- 
otism—Selection of subjects in history— Biography— Science— Selection of sub- 
jects in science — Immediate us^ of knowledge — Civics — Mutual influence— Class 
recitation— Motive of the teacher— Effects of recitation— Conditions for moral 
training— Glory of the common schools— Ethics— Ethics of Sloyd— Telling the 
truth— Order and moral training identical — Working hypothesis of moral train- 
ing — Realization of possibilities — Character — No separation of intellectual and 
moral ti-aining — Law and morals — Morality of method — The altruistic motive — 
Utilitai'ian doctrine— Vox populi, vox Dei— Limits of selfishness— Education and 
the altruistic motive— All truth is needed by man— Development of motive is 
education— Altruistic motive appeals to the child— The truth shall make you 
free— Teaching— Choice— Present nothing but good— Detection of counterfeit 
coins— Training of the will— The will trained by doing— The value of an act of 
the wilt — Attention — Literature — Exercises in expression — Imagination — Keep 
the child unconscious of his motive — Text-books of morals — Value of righteous- 
ness — Sloyd— Delight in expression— Necessity gives zest to life — Mental facul- 
ties — Emotions — Emotions of pleasure — Watch the child's mind— Original infer- 
ence the test of mental power— Relation of original inference to knowledge- 
Quality of mental action— Intensity of action— Original inference the measure 
of power— Delight in search for truth- Opportunities for moral and ethical 
action— Ai-e wrong principles and methods immoral ?— Incorrect methods— 

Contents. xv 

Dominating the will— The teacher's will, the child's will— Home tyranny— Un- 
natural discipline in schools — Destroying- power to reason — The short road to 
order— Arbitrary forces and means of discipline— Reason and will— Corporal 
punishment- Old-fashioned corporal punishment— Method of rewards, pres- 
ents, prizes, and promotions— Systematic cultivation of self-consciousness — Cul- 
tivation of ambition— Educated tosell—Prize-giviug— Prize giving ihe rewarding 
of an ancestor— Prize-giving the despair of weak children— Abnormal activity- 
Corporal punishment — Reward-giving is bribery — God gives rewards — Cause of 
corporal punishment and rewards^" Thi'ee R's " — Total depravity— Reward- 
giving in Sunday-school— The kingdom of heaven is within you— Scientific 
truth and sacred truth -Seeking for the truth :s moral action— Special moral 
training in the schools — Lack of educative work— Children lost from total neglect. 

Chapter XV. — Summary op the Doctrine of Concentration . 376 

Summary of the child's spontaneous activities— Imperfect methods— Central 
subjects — No classification in nature— Spontaneous ac'tivities continued — Rela- 
tive value of form study— Relation of geometry to central subjects— Form 
defined— Form and size— Use of number— Relation of number to central sub- 
jects — Attention — Observation, hearing-language, and reading — Value of ob- 
servation— Hearing-language— Relation of reading to study— Unity of action- 
Modes of attention— Exercise of modes of attention means of physical develop- 
ment — Music— Gesture — Conceptive modes of expression— Speech and writing — 
Acquisition of forms of expression — Moral training — The child the centre — Self- 
efCort— Original inference— Relation of energy to matter— Unity— All study con- 
centred in the study of laws— Movement towards the truth— Instinctive obe- 
dience to law— Arrangement of material for concentration— Elementary science 
—History— Influence of nature— Continue that which has been begun— The child 
in the centre of the circle— Infinity of means— The " suspended judgment " 
—Concentration cannot be understood by artisan teachers— Overcrowding 
courses of study— Quality versus quantity— Art of teaching— Original inference 
—Relation of original inference to data— Indications of quality teaching- 
Courses of study— Study of the child— Teachers as students— Results of quantity 
teaching can be measured— Tentatives—Tentatives in arithmetic— In penman- 
ship and art— Co-ordination of geography with other studies— Incentives to 
study on the part of teachers— Impossibility of reaching the ideal— Study of 
personalities— Influence of study on the part of the teacher— Isolation of sub- 
jects—Departmental teaching— Arguments against departmental teaching- 
Regular teacher needs every subject to develop character— Regular teachers 
will not study the subjects taught by special teachers— History and geography 
—Knowledge of subjects versus knowledge of the child— Economy of mental 
power— Evil effects of quantity teaching— Eternity of quality— Revision of 
courses of study— Courses of study should be adapted to circumstances— No 
science of education adapted to a republic— Conclusion. 

Chapter XVI.— Democracy and Education 401 

Aristocracy and democracy— Motive of aristocracy— Means of control— 
Rehgion always good for mankind— Religion used as a means of controlling the 
masses— Methods of aristocracy— Method of mystery— Method of physical 
force— Plan to keep masses in ignorance— Principal use of standing armies- 
Method of isolation— Natural isolation— Caste isolation— Class isolation— Com- 
mon schools peculiar to the United States— Sectarian isolation— Great civil war 
—Method of bribery— Buying the people— Popular demand for education— The 

xvi Contents. 

masses will think— Method of quantity teaching— Quantity teaching explained 
—Choice— Quality teaching— Cultivating the habit of believing without reason 
—Pedants— Prussia— The problem of Frederick the Great— Trained workmen— 
The philosophy of Wolff— Leibnitz— Pestalozzi—Fichte—Ciiildren think and 
kings tremble— French Revolution— Return to quantity teaching— Napoleon 
crushed Prussia — Von Stein — Rational teaching suppressed— Bismarck — A new 
cultus-ministei-- Method of charity— Most charity renders people helpless — 
Suppression of self-effort — Beauty of charity caricatured — Enough for all — 
Moral reforms— Curing unnecessary diseases— A little child shall lead you— Lack 
of faith in the people— Anarchy and nihilism products of oppression— Joy of 
aristocracy over the prospective downfall of the Union— Democracy — Freedom 
—The ideal of freedom— True education leads to freedom— Mutual responsibility 
—The common school— Meaning of the common scliool— Schools of the English 
pattern— Free schools charity schools— Schools in 1837— Thomas Jefferson— The 
common school in Connecticut and New Hampshire — The common school a 
failure— Horace Mann— Democracy of Horace Mann— Board of education ap- 
pointed in Massachusetts— Horace Mann chosen for its secretary— Arousing pub- 
lic sentiment— Indifference of the people— Horace Mann's visit to Europe — What 
Horace Mann found in Europe— Opposition to Horace Mann— Opposition to the 
new ideas— Opposition of the academies— Training of teachers— Founding of the 
first normal school— First normal school in New York— Anna C. Brackett— 
Period of organization— Better methods — Common school a genuine product of 
democracy — Centralization in the control of schools— Democracj' in tlie control 
of schools— The democratic plan better in the long-run— Work for the common 
schools— The problem of education in America— What remains to be done- 
Youth of the common-school system— Lack of faith in the education of chil- 
dren—Necessities of the common school— Science of education— Influence of 
tradition— Methods of aristocracy in our common schools— Method of mystery 
—Common-sense ruled out— Common things not stud3'— Making the common 
school a charity school— For the rich and not for the poor— Separation into 
classes the doom of the republic— Education not a charity— Christianity and 
manufacturing— The method of quantity teaching— Quantity teaching opposed 
to the science of education— Colleges demand quantity— A leader of aristocracy 
does not believe in a science of education— Contempt shown by universities for 
a science of education— The first Chair of Pedagogics in America— Quantity 
• teaching demands no professional training — Member of a school board knows 
all about education on the quantity side— Fads— No science of education from 
the quantity standpoint— Quahty is freedom— Quantity teaching the politician's 
opportunity— Horrors of democratic evolution- Enemies of the common schools 
—Method of isolation— Common school destroys caste— The common school the 
best place to pi-actise religion— Wonderful growth of the common-school sys- 
tem—The science of .education— Indifference of the people— Superintendents 
-Experts required for every work in the world except teaching— Chicago gives 
$6,000,000 yearly for schools— Tenacity of quantity teaching— Indifference of 
the people toward the fundamental cause of the defects in the public schools- 
Trained teachers— A poor teacher— Value of a good teacher— An ounce of pre- 
vention is worth a ton of cure— Per-cents and schools— Little thought given to 
the science of education— America for the whole world— Perfect toleration— 
"Who possesses the youth possesses the future "—Enough for all— Respect for 
personal rights— Attractive better than compulsory education— What every 
common school should be— Where shall we find good teachers ?— Conclusion. 



I PROPOSE in this and the following talks to 
present a general exposition of the theory of CoK- 


The least that can be said for this theory is that 
it presents to some extent an outline of a rounded 
educational doctrine for the study and criticism of 

In the beginning of these discussions, the ques- 
tion of all questions, and indeed the everlasting 
question, is : what is the being to be educated ? 
AVhat is the child? What is this little lump of wnatistheCMld? 
flesh, breathing life and singing the song of im- 
mortality ? The wisdom and philosophy of ages 
vipon ages have asked this question, and still it re- 
mains unanswered. It is the central problem of 
the universe. The child is the climax and cul- 
mination of all God's creations, and to answer the 
question, "What is the child?" is to approach 
nearer the still greater question. What is the 
Creator and Giver of Life ? 

I can answer the question tentatively. It is a 


4 Talks on Pedagogics. 

question for yon and for me, and for the teachers 
of the present and the future, to answer ; and still 
it will ever remain the unanswered question. We 
should study the child, as we study all phenomena, 
by its actions, and hy its tendencies to act. The 
child is born, we are told by scientists, deaf, dumb, 
and blind, yet, in design, possessing marvellous 
possibilities for development. It is well for us to 
stand by the cradle of a little child who has drawn 
his first breath, and is ready to be acted upon by 
the external energies which surround him. 

One hypothesis we can accept as true : the in- 

' herited organism of bone, muscle and brain deter- 
mines exactly the limits or boundaries of the baby's 

j development. Each nerve-fibre or convolution of 

(^ the brain says : " Thus far shalt thou go and no 
farther ; " and it is well to say in the same breath 
that no human being ever had the external condi- 
tions for growth by which the full possibilities, 
predetermined and fixed by the organism, have 
Organism Deter- been realized. The organism itself determines the 
men? ^^^^^°^' external conditions for development. Every mus- 
cle, every nerve, every fibre, every convolution of 
the brain, their nature and power, are in them- 
selves possibilities for the reception of those ex- 
ternal energies which act upon the body of the 
child, and make their way to the brain through the 
sensorium. The child itself is a central energy, or 
complex of energies, upon which and through 

■''which certain external energies act. No simple 
energy can enter a child's brain except by first 

, touching the child's body (the end-organs), and 
countless energies touch the child's body which 
do not enter the brain at all ; others enter, but lie 
.^below the plane of consciousness. 

The Child. 5 

Forms or waves of light touch the eye and create 
elementary ideas of color in the brain, but just 
what colors there shall be in the brain is deter- 
mined by the passive power and delicacy of the 
organism itself. Vibrations of air touch and en- 
ter the brain through the ear. Strongest and 
most effective of all is the contact and resistance 
of the body to objects more dense than waves of 
air or waves of ether. The great giant sense of 
touch begins its creative power in the brain at the 
birth of the child, and even before birth. It is 
well for us to understand thoroughly that the 
child, an organic complex of energies, is acted 
upon and through by external energies, and, what- ^j^*^^"^ °^'*" 
ever matter may be in itself, the mind is conscious 
of nothing but pure energy, and is primarily de- 
veloped by external energies which, we infer, act ; 
through forms and qualities of matter. Stimuli' 
come from all the surroundings of the child. The 
products of the stimuli create in the child's mind 
concepts corresponding to external objects. These 
concepts are activities in themselves, or phases of 
differentiated energy. Units of elementary ideas, 
individual concepts, enable the mind to react upon 
externality. The child begins to move under the 
stimulus created by external activities, to smile, to 
laugh, to stretch out its hands, to see, to hear, to 
touch, to taste, and to smell. 

It is not possible for me to state the exact order 
of the succession of the arousing to action of the 
different senses. Our questions here are: What 
are the spontaneous activities of the child ? In ti-^^es! 
other words, what must the child do from the 
nature of its being, the nature of the stimulus act- 
ing through its body and in its mind, and the po- 


6 Talks on Pedagogics. 

tentialities of the ego ? What are the tendencies 
, of these spontaneous activities ? The child's con- 
sciousness begins in obscurity, weakness, and vague- 
ness, and still in this very obscurity and vagueness 
there is great activity. The very few weak and 
obscure ideas of color and sound and form set the 
whole being into motion. Before there is any con- 
sciousness, before the child has the most obscure 
feeling of itself, music affects it in a wonderful way. 
Lullaby songs will soothe it to sleep, changing 
vague pain into vague pleasure. The whole being 
is sensitive to the rhythm of music. Not only can 
it be soothed and lulled to sleep with music, but its 
first dawning consciousness of life is marked by a 
smile aroused by a song. The first spiritual breath 
of external life comes with musical cadences. One 
of the first sounds that it makes is an imitation of 
rhythm. What is this marvellous gift that makes 
the child so sensitive to musical cadence? The 
whole universe moves in rhythm: the avalanche 
thunders from the mountain side in deep cadences; 
the ocean surf roars in musical cadence. The rip- 
pling of the brook and the soughing of the breeze 
in the foliage ar^e the simple music of nature. The 
little child is the centre of all this rhythm, and 
the feeling of this rhythm is the truth of the uni- 
verse whispering its sweet songs to the child's soul. 
Perhaps the most marked mental action of the 
little child is the fanciful creation of new ideas 
and images. A little vague color and sound, and a 
few percepts of touch, are sufficient to set the little 
being into most vigorous action. External objects 
act upon the child and produce their correspond- 
ences, individual concepts, in its mind. As I 
have already said, these concepts are very vague, 

The Child. 7 

obscure, and indistinct. Notwithstanding all this, 
creation is the moving, central power and delight creative Power. 
of the child. The baby creates out of its meagre : 
store of ideas a new world, its own world, in which 
it lives and moves and lias its being. Let us pause a : 
a moment, and look at the marvellous meaning of 
this wonderful power of the child in the creations 
of fancy. If the little human being were limited 
to actuality, that is, to the vague reflex of external 
objects, if it were bound by its own meagre store 
of so-called facts, it would indeed live in a dark 
and dismal prison; but it bursts the bands of 
reality and goes out into a higher world to the 
invisible life. It lives over again the childhood of 
the race in the myth. It revels in fanciful forms 
of its own weak but vivid creations; it spontane- 
ously seeks the invisible. 

Next to the cradle song is the cradle story. 
You know very well how eager a child is for stories 
that arouse its leve for rhythm and excite its 
fancy. The child most delights in fairy tales, the 
mythical treasures of the ages. The cruel bonds Myth. 

of stern reality are broken, and it enters a beauti- 
ful and invisible world, peopled by creations of 
its own fancy. If a child were limited in its early 
stages to the world of reality, if it could not go 
out into the unknown world, the invisible world, 
it would lead the life of a brute. The humanf/ 
animal differs from the brute in its faith in ar|l 
invisible world. The self-created, invisible world|| 
to the child, is the fire-mist heaven; it is th^f 
chaos that precedes the spiritual life. Banish 
myth from the child, and you take away that 
beauty which is the essence of truth. Parents 
v/ho forbid the myth because they conceive, for- 

8 777/^5 on Pedagogics. 

sooth, it is not tlie truth, limit the child to the 
baldest materialism, or prepare the way for fancy- 
to run riot to ruin. 
What is the What is the myth? The record of the human 

^ ■ race is full of myths. Myth comes from the im- 

perfect answer which nature gives to the childish 
soul of man. The answers are not false, but they 
are imperfect and partial, and are, to childish souls, 
the solution of their great problems. Every answer 
given to a spontaneous and innocent question con- 
tains a golden kernel of intrinsic truth. It is that 
truth which a child can bear in its early years. 
It cannot grasp precepts and logic, but it can un- 
derstand the truth, like those who crowded around 
the Saviour, — in parables. The myth is common 
to all tribes and nations on the face of the earth. 
I All myths have a wonderful similarity, proving 
that the human spirit in every stage of growth, 
' and in every clime, and under all environments, 
\ has the same strong everlasting tendency upward. 
Every myth contains a lesson to man. Out of 
the ignorance of the nature of the child, and from 
the spirit of dogmatism and bigotry, there has 
come the falsehood that says the myth does not 
contain the whole truth, and therefore must be 
rejected. Who knows the whole truth? Shall 
the child be robbed of that which delights its soul 
and lays the foundation of true religious life? No 
Deveiopmeat of greater mistake can be made in regard to the spon- 
Myth in the Race, taneous activities of the child, for the myth is the 
true fire-mist of character, it contains golden 
symbols that point upward to God and to heaven. 
The myth is the foundation of faith in the future 
life, the foundation of all spiritual growth, The 

The Child. 9 

fairies and trolls change, as the soul changes, to 
real folks and real life. 

The myth is the beginning of history. The Myth the begin- 
creatnres of fancy foreshadow the real people with "^^ °* ^®*°^'^" 
whom the child must live. It is, indeed, the child 
seeing through a glass darkly, but that obscurity 
of trutli and tendency towards it are absolutely 
essential to its growth. Myth, I say, is the begin- 
ning of history. The myths presented to the child 
should contain in themselves the guiding stars of 
life and immortality. 

The myth is the beginning of science. The 
human race began, we are told, with a firm be- 
lief that every object in the universe was ani- 
mated, life-like, human-like. This was the child- 
ish study of science, but it sustained a great truth. 
The stone and the mountain are not organisms \ 
for life, it is true, but there breathes through them / 
an irresistible energy, which comies from the Giver j 
of all Life. The myth of the early ages points', 
towards the marvellous revelations of the scientific y 
truth of the present. The myth is an imperfect ^ 
and partial apprehension of truth. The myth 
clears away under the steady light of the ever- Myth and Science, 
moving mind; it is essential to the weak state of 
the child. "The night veileth the morning." 

Just as the human race arose in its development ' 
from the myths of antiquity, so the child must 
rise from the myths of childhood. The lack of 
ideality, the failure in spiritual growth, in true 
religious life, are caused more by the failure of Myth the begin- 
the parents to recognize the true nature of the "i^s of Religion, 
child and his inborn love for myth than any other 
cause whatever. The rankest materialism in its 
■worst form has never struck harder blows at truQ 

lo Talks on Pedagogics. 

spiritual life than the ignorance of misguided 
parents, who keep their child from fairy life and 
fairy land. Fairy land is over the border of the 
present, into the future, aud the truest tendency 
of the human life is to live in the ideal of the 
future, to reach forward towards the invisible and 
the unknown. Slowly the human beings have 
arisen — guided by a glimmering light — and have 
climbed spiritually from the earth and the clod, 
from the shrub and tree up the broad walls of the 
arched sky, to stars, and moon, and sun, and then 
beyond the sun, for the divinity see'king and striv- 
ing imagiuation stretches away to the invisible, all- 
powerful, all-controlling, all-loving, One who per- 
meates the universe, lives in it, and breathes His 
life through it, the eternal life to be taken into 
the human soul. The myth is the obscure image, 
in the child's soul, of God Himself. There are 
many parents who shudder at the myth of Santa 
Claus, an invisible being that brings the chil'd 
gifts; but that invisible being, to the child's weak 
apprehension, is the foreshadowing of the All- 
Giver, the forerunner of the One who came to 
Santa Claas. ; ^nian on the blessed Christmas night. No rough 

toice and no ignorant soul should ever tell the 
ittle child that Santa Claus does not exist, for 
I ^anta Claus is the foreshadowing of the All-Giver, 
! jkll-Lover, the One who gives because He loves. 
It is imp»eeible to take a child into history, 
science, ethics, and religion without the continued 
exercise of these spontaneous fanciful tendencies. 
Myth the Begin- You may reply that a child may live in myth and 
ing. Truth the f^^^^^y ^^ j^^g jife. I admit that this is possible. 
Many people do live in myth all their lives just 
because myth is not put into the crucible of high- 

The Child, ii 

est reason; just because the conditions arc not pre- 
sented for myth to change to history, to science, to 
ethics, and to religion. This is no proof that the 
strongest spontaneous tendency of the child is 
wrong; it is only a proof of neglect to build upon 
it. I think we can take it "for granted that, as | 
God, the loving Creator of the child, made the [ 
child His highest creation. He put into that child 1 
n'iniself, His divinity, and that this divinity man- 1 
il'osts itself in the seeking for truth through the ■ 
visible and tangible. 

The child is brought into direct contact with its 
mother, its father, and the whole family, and who 
will dare to say that the child is not, above all, 
a student of human nature? Who wall say that its 
eyes, when they touch one's face, cannot read the 
soul better than older people ? The child looks at 
you with the innocence and purity of childhood, 
and no hypocrisy, no dissimulation, though it may 
veil the truth from older eyes, can keep it from 
the little ones. It studies the relation of being to 
being, father to mother, parents to children. It 
may be that I use too strong a word when I say it 
"studies," but still it is something very like study. 
The study of family life is the child's beginning of The Child Studies 
the study of anthropology and of history. The ^thropoiogy. 
child is not only a student of individual life, but of 
community life, the life of the family, the life of 
tlie neighbors, of the children he meets at play, in 
the house, in the yard, in the street; and the meas- 
ure of the child's judgment of community life is 
the measure in its after study of history. It may 
study history in school or the university, but in 
all life the judgments formed at home, in the 
nursery, in the parlor, in the kitchen, in the street, 

TW//?s on Pedagogics. 

The CMld and 


are the strongest, ever-eiidnring measures in all his 
after-jiidgmeuts of the record of the human life 
taught by experience and in history. Every human 
being with whom he comes in contact is a new 
study to him. The looks, the. manners, the dress, 
the attitude, and the facial expression lead him to 
make his childish inferences. Then comes tlie 
kindergarten and the school, the first step in a 
broader community life than that which hoRie 
furnishes. Here, the study, not only of hi'story, 
but of civics, begins. The true foundation of civ- 
ics is community life. The child's home measure 
of life, the government of his home, give him 
democratic, monarchical, or socialistic principles. 
Whatever the rule of the home or school may be, 
that rule is ever afterwards either loved or hated 
by the child. Thus the child spontaneously begins 
the study of anthropology, ethnology, and history, 
and in these studies he has a profound, abiding 
interest, in these studies he forms habits of judg- 
ment which to a great extent are fixed and perma- 

It needs no argument to prove that the child 
studies or, at least, is exceedingly interested in 
zoology. Few beings, except, perhaps, the father 
and mother, can interest a child n;iore deeply than 
the brute life which surrounds him. The cat is "a 
thing of beauty and a Joy forever"; the dog is its 
particular friend. It stretches out its little hands 
before it can speak, and its first utterances follow 
the attempts of its original ancestors in imitating 
the voice of the dog. The child delights in birds, 
butterflies, and bees. Place any moving, living 
thing before the child, and it moves towards it 
with an excited interest. It wants to touch it; to 

The Child. 13 

stroke it, to know more about it. Endowed with 
the original idea of animism, it no doubt believes 
every brute that it sees to have a mind like its own. 
It will imitate the dog, the cat, and the birds, and 
will talk to them as to its own companions. He 
studies zoology in that he becomes acquainted 
with the animals he meets: every insect, every 
animal, wild or tame, the grasshoi3per, the locust, 
bugs that scurry away when he lifts a stone, the 
fish-worms which he digs for bait, are objects of 
intense interest. He knows the difference between 
the white grub and the common earth-worm. The 
animals in the woods are his friends. The birds, 
their habits, their nests, their little ones, and their 
songs fill him with joy. He can take a lesson 
from the timid partridge, who is ever ready to give 
her life for her children. He knows the sly habits 
of the crows, studies the psychology of their reason- 
ing. The iSorses, and oxen, and sheep are all his 
friends. What farm-boy has not cried over the 
loss of a favorite sheep, taken away by the cruel 
butcher ? 

The child has a great love for vegetable life. 
There never was a child that lived who did not 
worship flowers, reach out for them, desire to hold 
them in its hands, gaze at them, and smell them. 
Of course, the spontaneous activities of the child 
are governed to a great degree by its environment. 
Take a little boy with the environment of a farm, 
— such an instance comes to me, — a boy upon a Botany. 

rocky farm in New England. He studies spon- 
taneously his entire environment. It is safe to say 
that he knows every plant upon the farm, every 
kind of grass, every weed. He comes in direct 
contact with worm-wood, sorrel, rag-weed. He 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

can tell all the kinds of grass from the graceful 
silver grass to the stately timothy. He knows the 
mosses and lichens that cling to the rocks and 
carpet the marshy land. He knows the shrubs 
and bushes; the huckleberry -bush is his delight. 
The strawberry in the rich meadow he watches 
from blossom to fruit with a keen sense of the joy 
which is to follow. Every tree he knows — the 
magnificent pine, the stately maple, the spreading 

Comparisons. chestnut in the pasture. He can tell you the shape 
of the tree; its trunk, its foliage: its fruit he 
spontaneously classifies. Thus, every child is an 
earnest, indefatigable lover of botany. In his fu- 
ture life, the farm-boy carries his botany of the 
farm with him wherever he goes. He compares all 
other plants and classifies them according to the 
spontaneous classifications made on the farm. He 
says : " This was on the old farm ; this was not." 
" This is something new." " This is like something 
I've seen before." "This bush is like the lilac; 
this rose is like the rose in the old garden." 

Not only is the boy on the farm a student of 
life, but he extends his study to the forces of 
earth, and air, and water. The earth touches him, 

Physics. heaven bends down to him and asks him questions. 

The clouds he knows, from the rounded thunder- 
head to the mackerel sky. He knows also the 
winds; he can foretell the weather. He looks with 
intense joy to the next rainy day; that will bring 
him rest, or, something better, fishing. He watches 
the sun with a deep interest. It will be a very 

Meteorology. stupid boy who ca,nnot tell exactly the noon hour 
by the sun, aided /by that, internal monitor, his 
stomach. Winds, douds, air, and heat, everything 

The Child. 


that influences vegetation, come within the mental 
range of the farm-boy. 

Mineralogy, especially upon a rocky farm, comes Mineralogy. 

very close to the boy in clearing the ground, in 
picking stones, in building stone walls, in quarry- 
ing ledges. AVatch a crowd of children upon the 
beach gathering pebbles and curious stones. They 
are interested in the color and form of the pebbles, 
and may be made exceedingly interested in the 
origin of the different forms, if some kind, obser- 
vant friend is there to continue the questions 
which the stones themselves ask. Children natu- 
rally take to playing in the dirt as ducks to water. 
The different kinds of soils attract their attention 
— sand, gravel, and clay. They never tire of play- 
ing in the sand, or exjaressing crude fancies by " 
modelling in the clay. The changes which natural 
forces bring about on the earth's surface are of 
deep interest to children, especially the changes 
brought about by running water, after a rain, or 
the wind swirling the sand into piles. They never 
tire of damming up a temporary stream or chang- 
ing its current, and of watching its effects when 
it spreads out silt, or the cuts it makes in the soft 
earth. The brooks and rivers are liever-ceasing 
sources of delight to children; they watch them 
at flood-time, when the water spreads out over the 
meadows; they notice the caving in of banks, the 
carrying of earth by water and its deposition on the 
shelving shores. 

Keal geography, or the appearance of the earth's Geograpiiyc 

surface, is a subject of intense, though unconscious, 
interest on the part of the child. Let a boy hunt 
stray cows or sheep over a large farm; he soon learns 
to know every crook, every turn and corner in the 

i6 . Talks on Pedagogics. 

whole farm, every liiding-place. He knows the 
hills, valleys, springs, and meadows. Of all the 
mental pictures that remain vivid through life and 
are recalled with ever-renewed pleasure, are the 
pictures of the country surrounding the birthplace, 
or the house in which we lived when children. 
The house itself, the fireplace, paper on the wall, 
furniture, — everything is distinct in our minds 
when other pictures fade or are blurred by time. 
The country round about, every hillock, every 
depression, brook, and rivulet are never-fading 
images in the brain. 
The Child is spon- '^^ ^^^^ ^P' ^^^® subjects of the child's spontane- 
taneousiy Inter- ous study and persistent interest include all the 
jecteorxh^ught."" central subjects of study— geography, geology, 
mineralogy, botany, zoology, anthropology, etc. In 
fact, the child begins every subject spontaneously 
and unconsciously. He must begin these subjects, 
because he lives, and because his environment acts 
upon him and educates him. Of course, the dif- 
ference in environment makes a great difference in 
the child's mental action, the child's individual 
concepts; stilly in all children there are the same 
spontaneous tendencies. The boy, for instance, on 
a farm may have a large range of vegetation to 
Limitations of the ^^n^y? ^^^ ^^^ P^^^^ ^i^^^® child in the dark city 
Environment. may worship with his whole soul some potted plant 
and from it draw lessons of insjjiration and love. 
The child studies the clouds, the sky, the stars, the 
earth, vegetation, animal life, history, every hour 
of the day. To be sure, he may have more interest 
in one subject than another, but to him all these 
subjects are related one to the other, as the cloud 
is related to rain, and the rain is related to vegeta- 
tion and soil. It is the tendency of pedantry to 

The Child. 17 

search in the far distance for facts and mysteries, 
but the truth is that the marvellous is close to us, 
that miracles are of the most common occurrence. 

I wish to call your attention to the wonderful The Child's Physi- 
powers acquired by the child in the first three gp^^gf^^^^''*' 
years of its life, and the wonderful persistence Years of its Life, 
there is in such acquirenfeut. Take, for instance, 
the art of locomotion, the creeping and walking. 
Watch the face of the child standing for the first 
time upon its little legs, attracted by the out- 
stretched arms of its mother, who stands across 
the room; look at the mingled courage and fear in 
the baby's face. He has a great ambition to move, 
as he has seen others move, upon his two feet. He 
stretches out his arms, he fears, he takes courage, 
he moves one foot and is successful, and then the 
other; he looks at his mother's encouraging smile, 
takes another step, and then another, until the 
great feat of walking across the room is accom- 
plished. From the time he first stands upon his 
feet to the time he runs around with perfect 
unconsciousness of his power of movement, there 
takes place a succession of experiments, of trials, 
and of failures and successes, all^^uided and con- 
trolled by his desire to walk. X (5 ''~" — 

More wonderful than leai^nlng to walk is the ' 
learning to hear language and to talk. In the 
beginning the child creates his own language of Learning Lan- 
gesture by means of his own body. He hears guage. 
language, words that are in themselves complex. 
Oral words act upon his consciousness and are 
associated by a fixed and everlasting law of the 
mind. Idioms are acquired by hearing and asso- 
ciation, and with it all comes an intense desire to 
express thought. With his voice he creates at first 

1 8 Talks on Pedagogics. 

his own language, which consists of crudely articu- 
late sounds, and then follows the acquisition of the 
vernacular which he hears. It is well for us to 
consider carefully the processes of learning to 
talk. The child must learn to hear first; that is, 
the words must act upon consciousness and their 
correspondences must bff associated with the ap^ 
Idioms. propriate activities in consciousness. The idioms 

must act in the same way and be associated with 
their appropriate activities or relations of ideas. 
Tiien follows the making of oral words. He learns 
enunciation, or the utterance of single sounds. He 
learns articulation, or the unity of sounds in words. 
He learns accent, pronunciation, and syntax, all by 
hearing language and under the one controlling 
motive of exj)ressing his own thought. He begins, 
it is true, with crude utterances, but these utter- 
ances are to him the best possible expression of his 
thought. He learns any language and every lan- 
guage that he hears. If we could understand the 
psychological mechanical processes by which a 
child learns his own vernacular from the first step 
of hearing to the last step by which the sentence 
is in his power, we should understand the whole 
theory of learning any language. Those who have 
tried to speak a foreign language will readily under- 
stand something of the struggle the child goes 
through in order to master one single phonic ele- 
ment. You see that he does all this unconsciously. 
The Child i u - ^^^^^ '^^^ these efforts are natural and to a great 
conscious o£ Forms degree automatic. . He never for a moment thinks 

of Attention and ^f ^ gj^ale sound by itself unless that sound is a 

Expression. '^ -^ 

whole word. He knows nothing at all of the com- 
plex elements of a language, nothing of slow pro- 
nunciation, nothing of syntax, still he masters the 

The Child. 19 

language by a natural process. This word natural 
is variously interpreted. It is exceedingly ambigu- 
ous, almost as ambiguous as tlie word "abstract." 
Still I believe that we can find a scientific defi- 
nition of the word natural. If the word natural 
means anything, it means strict conformity to 
God's laws. That is, a child learns every oral word 
by the same law under wliich every oral or written 
word in any and every language must be learned. 
The child does not know the law, but he obeys 
the law by instinct. If the child makes these 
marvellous acquisitions naturally, in conformity to 
law, why not have him continue that conformity 
to law in all his after-acquisitions ? 

Learning to write is far easier in itself, if we 
follow the law, than learning to hear language or 
learning to speak. The great lesson to teachers is, 
find the law, follow the law; give the child condi- 
tions in learning to write like those he has had in 
learning to speak. Indeed, the conditions can be 
made far better, for learning to speak is left very 
much to accident and to desultory instruction, 
while learning to write may be under the most 
careful guidance. 

It goes without saying that the child is a stu- 
dent of form and color. Everything that enters his 
brain, as I have already said, must touch the end- 
organs, and these attributes or objects which touch 
the end-organs are forms of matter. Froebel, who 
had such divine insight, understood the great 
value of the tactual sense. Color is representative 
in its power. It brings into consciousness the 
correspondences to forms of external objects. 

Not only does the child study form, but he 
makes intuitively a systematic preparation for the 

Talks on PeJaooaics. 

Preparation to 
Learn Number. 

Unity of Action. 

study of number. The child begins with no idea of 
distance. He grasps for the moon with the same 
confidence as he does for an object near at hand. 
The ideas of distance, size, weight, are prepara- 
tions for number. The child first learns to meas- 
ure by constantly reaching out its hands, creeping 
and walking, and after that it measures distance 
by sight. Not only does it begin to measure and 
estimate distances, but it judges area and bulk, 
and compares diiferent sizes, areas, weights, and 
bulks. The study of weight to him also has its 
charms, the difl'erence of pressure upon his hand, 
his own weight in the effort of other children to 
lift him. He measures force and time in the same 
unconscious way, the time of sleeping, the time 
between a promised pleasure and its anticipated 
realization, and soon he learns to look at the clock 
to help him out in his judgment. He estimates 
very carefully the value of a cent and a stick of 
candy. All these spontaneous activities are in the 
direction of number study, are mingled with all his 
activities and are absolutely necessary to his men- 
tal and physical action. It is true these measures 
are very inadequate and imperfect, but they are 
the beginnings of the power of accurate measuring, 
that mode of judgment which will end, if he con- 
tinues to have the right conditions, in exact meas- 
uring and weighing, and in accurate knowledge of 

There is at first a perfect unity of thought and 
action. Hear the voice and watch the movements 
of a little child! No dancing teacher, no teacher 
of elocution, no actor, can ever successfully imitate 
the voice of the child, or the perfectly unconscious 
beauty and grace of its movements. Indeed it is 

The Child. 21 

the highest aim of artists iu acting and elocution 
to acquire the unconscious grace and power of a 
child. Listen to the voice of the child, — melodi- 
ous, harmonious, perfect in emphasis, it is the im- 
mediate pulsations of his soul, the instantaneous 
reflex of his consciousness, with unconsciousness 
of his body, his organs of expression, his forms 
of speech. The child, until education intervenes, 
is a unit of action and expression, and that unity- 
is acquired and maintained by action under a mo- 
tive with no overpowering ' consciousness of the 
means or forms of expression. Must that beautiful 
unity be broken ?, Can it be perpetuated and . 
strengthened ? 

There never was such a thing as a lazy child born 
on earth. Childhood is full of activities of every xte CMid Fuu of 
kind, stimulated by external energies and shaped Activity, 
by internal power. The child experiments continu- 
ally until it gains its ends. It will reach hundreds 
of times for an object, and at last succeed. What 
modes of expression, excepting speech, does a child Modes of Expres- 
acquire in the first years of its life ? I should say ^ion. 
that all children love music, though there is a vast 
difference in individual organisms in this as in all 
other modes of expression. Most children strive 
to imitate that which they hear in rhythm. Mak- 
ing, or manual work, is really the natural element Manual Work. 
of the child. I think I can say, without fear of 
dispute, that a child tries to make everything that 
he sees made. The little girl wishes to use the 
scissors, needle and thread. In the kitchen, unless 
repressed by the mother, she makes cakes and 
bread. In fact, the whole round of housekeeping 
in the beginning furnishes countless objects for 
activity and a desire to imitate. Boys in the shop. 


22 Talks on Pedagogics. 

or on the farm, strive to do what they see done. 
They harness each other in teams, they drive the 
dog and the goat, they make mill-wheels and 
dams. The tendency to imitate, the desire to 
mak« the objects they see made, is intensely strong 
in every child. 
The CMid a Born Every child has the artist element born in him; 
he loves to model objects out of sand and clay. 
Paint is a perfect delight to children, bright colors 
charm them. Give the child a paint-brush, and 
though his expression of thought will be exceed- 
ingly crude, it will be very satisfactory to him ; he 
will paint any object with the greatest confidence. 
It is very interesting to watch the crowd of little 
children near Lake Chautauqua, as busy as bees and 
as happy as angels. Let us look at the forms the 
children make out of the pliable sand. Here are 
caves where the fairies dwell, mountains, vol- 
canoes, houses where the giants live. All these 
fantastic forms spring from the brain of the child 
and are expressed by means of this plastic material. 
See that little three-year-old girl with the model of 
a house in her brain : she is now wheeling a wheel- 
barrow, assisted by a little companion; in the 
barrow is the wood, and in her brain is the house. 
Energetic, persistent, happy, — in what direction ? 
In the direction of true growth! The little girl 
in the kitchen is not happy until she can mould 
and change the flour into dough, and dough into 
forms for baking; and here begin her first lessons 
in chemistry, the wonderful changes which heat 
brings about. She will dress her doll, working 
patiently for hours. Inexpert beholders may not 
know what the crude forms mean, but the child 
knows and is satisfied, — nay, delighted. Give a 

The Child. 23 

child a piece of chalk, and its fancy runs riot: 
people, horses, houses, sheep, trees, birds, spring 
up in the brave confidence of childhood. In fact, 
all the modes of exin-ession are spontaneously and 
persistently exercised by the child from the begin- 
ning except writing. It sings, it makes, it moulds, 
it paints, it draws, it expresses thought in all the 
forms of thought-expression, with the one ex- 

I have very imperfectly presented, in this brief 
outline, some of the spontaneous activities of the 
little child. The more I strive to present them, the 
more imperfect seems the result, so much lies 
beyond in the interpretation of the child's instinc- 
tive activities, so much seems to exceed all present 
discovery. The question, my fellow-teachers, is, 
what should these lessons teach us? The child i-essons Taught by 
instinctively begins all subjects known in the curri- cMid's spontane- 
culum of the university. He begins them because ^^^ Activities, 
he cannot help it; his very nature impels him. 
These tendencies, these spontaneous activities of 
the child spring from the depths of its being, spring 
from all the past, for the child is the fruit of all 
the past, and the seed of all the future. These 
quiet, persistent, powerful tendencies we must 
examine and continue with the greatest care. The 
child overcomes great obstacles by persistent en- 
ergy, always acting with great confidence of him- 
self and his powers. He overcomes these obstacles 
because his whole being is a unit of action, con- 
trolled by one motive. The spontaneous tendencies 
of the child are the records of inborn divinity; we 
are here, my fellow-teachers, for one purpose, and 
that purpose is to understand these tendencies and 
continue them in all these directions, following 

24 Talks on Pedagogics. 

FoUowing Nature, nature. First of all, we should recognize the great 
dignity of the child, the child's divine power and 
divine possibilities, and then we are to present the 
conditions for their complete outworking. We are 
here that the child may take one step higher; we 
are here to find and present the conditions adapted 
to the divine nature of the child. 

I have tried to show that the whole round of 
- knowledge is begun by the child, and begun be- 
cause it breathes, because it lives. If the child 
loves science and history, and studies or attends 
to them instinctively, then he should go on, and 
we must know the conditions or subjects and means 
which should be presented to him for each new 
demand or need. 

I grant that in the past of education attention 
has been directed too much to dead forms of 
thought, and for one good reason at least: the sci- 
ences are a modern creation of man and have not 
yet reached the child. Now we have these mar- 
vellous subjects presented to us, worked out by 
great thinkers of the present, and we are to choose 
whether we will continue the dead formalism that 
too often leads to pedantry and bigotry, or whether 
we are to lead the child's soul in that direction which 
God designed in His creation of the human being. 

In conclusion I commend to you, in the v^ords of 
our greatest American philosopher : 

" A babe by its mother lies, batlied in joy; 
Glide the hours uncounted; the sun is its toy; 
Shines the peace of all being without cloud in its eyes, 
And the sum of the world in soft miniature lies." 

I commend to you the " sum of the world " for your 
study, for in this direction lies all the future prog- 
ress of humanity. 

The Central Subjects of Study, 25 



Design" is a fundamental premise in all that / 
exists. There is a design in each individual j 
being. Another term for design is possibilities I 
to be realized. The working out of the design Brief Definitions 
of a human being into character is education; '^^*^'^'^^^°^' 
the realization of all the possibilities of human * 
growth and develoj^ment is education. In the 
presentation of conditions for the working out of 
that design, or the realization of possibilities, con- 
sists the art of educating. All mental and moral 
development is by self-activity. Education is the 
economizing of self-eifort in the direction of all- 
sided development. Economy of energy is the inA Economy of Edn- 
trinsic mark and sign of all progress in nature and cative Effort, 
in art. Apply this fact to education: the indi-j 
vidual being is developed by immutable laws, the 
fundamental law of which is self-activity; all 
the past, with its vast treasures, has brought us 
consists of better conditions for human growth, 
and a better knowledge of the adaptation of 
those conditions to each stage of development. 
The study of the science of education gives us a 
higher knowledge of the human being, and a 
better knowledge of the conditions to be applied. 
The art of teaching is the scientific, economical, 
adaptation of conditions for educative effort. 

In this connection, it must be- admitted that 
there is much studying, much toiling and moiling. 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Purpose of the 
Doctrine of Con 

mncli persistent effort and protracted mental strug- 
gle that is not educative, becaiTse the conditions 

Wasted Effort. presented for self-effort are not adapted to the 
immediate needs of the individual. Our motive, 
then, my fellow-teachers, should be to economize 
educative effort, and with this guide we should 
seek earnestly for that theory or doctrine of edu- 
cation by the application of which this central aim 
of education can be best attained. The present 
trend of study, investigation, and discovery in 
the science of education is towards the correlation 
and unification of educative subjects, and their 
concentration upon human development. All sub- 
jects, means, and modes of study are concentrated 
under this doctrine upon economization of educa- 
tive efforts. In the unification and correlation 
of subjects of thought and exjiression, each sub- 
ject, means, mode and method finds its absolute 
and relative educational value, its definite place in 
the conditions for self-activity and self-effort. 

The unification of subjects takes for its hy- 
potheses, first, the unity of the human being in 
design; second, the unity of the Creator and His 
ci-eations; and third, that approximating unity of 
the human being to his Creator is the sublime 
destiny of man. " For He made man in His own 
image." "He has crowned him with glory and 

Unity. honor." Unity of hodj, mind, and soul, unity of 

educative effort, unity of action, unity of- thought, 
and unity of thought and- exj)ression are the aims 
of the theory of Concentration. 

This morning I propose to discuss the" unifica- 

Central Subjects, tion of the Central Subjects of Study. By central 
subjects I mean those subjects which lie nearest the 
truth. All true study is the study of the Creator, 

The Centnl Subjects of Study. 


throngli the iiianifesfcatioii of His thought, in the 

universe and man. The central subjects of study 

are but the main branches of one subject, and that 

subject is creation. Creation is eternal; it is the 

manifestation of invisible, all-efilcient power; there- ^^ study is Srady 

fore all study has for its sole aim the knowledge of 

the invisible. The highest and at the same time 

the most economical effort of the mind is the 

effective striving after the truth of creation; this 

action of the mind may be called intrinsic — it is 

the shortest line of resistance between the soul and 

truth. The central subjects of study represent that 

line, and point in that direction. 

As a basis of my discussion of the central sub- 
jects of study, I will take the subject of Geography. Geography. 
You will readily grant that, in order to understand 
the relations of one study to another, it is abso- 
lutely necessary to define with accuracy each 
branch of study in itself. Through the absolutely 
accurate definition of one branch, it may be sepa- 
rated in theory, in this discussion, from all other 
branches, and through this separation its relatiouB 
to all other studies may be understood. 

The first definition of Geography that I give is: 
"Geography is the knowledge or science of the Definition of 
present appearance of the earth's surface." This Geography.) 
definition premises that there have been countless 
other apjjearances of the earth's surface in past 
seons, that constant changes have been going on in 
the crust of the earth, and that changes will be 
continually made in the future. The present ap- 
pearance of the earth's surface is the result, or 
present effect, of countless changes in the earth's 
crust. Geologists teach us that the earth's creation 
is going on to-day in precisely the same way and 

2^ Talks on Pedagogics. 

by the same causes as it has been going on for 
countless ages. To know Geography is to know 
the present appearance of the earth's surface. This 
Necessity of Exact definition gives Geography a place as a branch of 
Definitioiis. study and shows its relations to other studies. Any 

definition more comprehensive than this would in- 
clude other subjects. Thus the study of the 
surface forms of the earth is a subject by itself, 
excluding, by its definition, all other branches. 
Geology. Geology, in its relation to Geography, may be 

defined as the history of the present appearance of 
the earth's surface, from fire-mist uj? through the 
long stages of development to the present modelled 
continent, ocean-beds, and islands. Present Geog- 
raphy is but one form or phase of countless other 
forms and phases of the earth's surface. Thus, the 
unification of Geology and Geography is not far to 
seek. It is the relation of effect to cause, or of 
present effects to a countless succession of causes. 
Geology is the causal nexus of Geography. Each 
characteristic area of the earth's surface, with its 
arrangements of slopes, counter- slopes, its river 
basins, plains, and mountain masses, is the product 
of a particular succession of changes of conditions 
under law, and therefore has a definite geological 
Prof . Chamber- history. Prof. Thomas 0. Chamberlin, an eminent 
lin's niustra- geologist, presents this truth in a striking and 
beautiful way. He says (I may not give his exact 
words) that each special characteristic area of 
surface has its prenatal conditions, its birth, baby- 
hood, adolescence, maturity, old age, decay, and 
death. Thus, the eye of a trained geologist reads 
as in an open book the stage of development of any 
given unit of surface, and also the long chain of 
changes and causes which have led up to its pres- 

The Central Subjects of Study. 29 

ent results and its present appearance. Geography Relation of Geog- 
is one phase in the history of Geology. Effects ''^P^y *" ^«°^°s^- 
may be traced to causes — causes of upheaval, sub- 
sidence, folding, extrusion, intrusion, erosion, abra- 
sion, the removal and building up of eroded 
material. What book of man is like the book of 
the Eternal ? The child may read it, the learned 
man may read it, and still the thought of the in- 
visible in creation can never be exhausted. 

It may be positively stated that Geography can 
be in no way profitably studied without the imme- 
diate study of Geology. The human mind in its 
healthy normal condition must go, if it goes at all, 
in the search for truth, from effect to cause. The Effect and Cause, 
child who sees the cutting in the banks of a brook, 
and the rippling, rushing water making its way 
over a pebbly bed, must, by the tendency of his 
own mind, ask for the causes of the observed 
effects. The present effects, which his eye sees, is 
Geogj-aphy; the cause of the effects leads him to 
study Geology. The child will see the crumbling 
bank, the carrying down of silt by the water, its 
deposition and spreading out on surfaces below, 
thus making new forms. He will not, it is true, 
ask at first, as he stands in the valley, what forces 
carved out the whole valley, but simply asks the 
• causes of the channel and the cutting. One answer 
will open another question. Through the answer instinctive Action 
he may be led to discover for himself the mighty of the CMid. 
work of erosion and building, of sculpturing and 
constructing, in which every stream since its be- 
ginning has been unceasingly engaged. The result 
or effect is the valley itself, with its rounded hills 
and intervals of plains. This is only an illustration 
of the trend of all observation of surfaces. He 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Definition of 

Opportrmities to 
Study Geology and Qeolo 
Geography. .„ 


picks up a sliell far inland. The inevitable ques- 
tion comes from the shell itself, " How came I 
here ? " In fact, every surface and all units of 
surface are full of questions. 

It may be asked here very pertinently, which 
should come first, joedagogically, Geology or Geog- 
raphy ? The effect must always be studied before 
the cause. Geograijhy, under this definition, is a 
phase of Geology. To study a surface form without 
studying the causes which led to its formation is 
not to study the surface, it is an impossibility. 

The fundamental product of the study of Geogra- 
phy is an individual concept, acquired through 
observation and imagination, of the earth's surface 
or any part of it. The Geography of any unit of 
surface is also an individual concept corresponding 
to that unit. The action of the mind in the search 
for causes of the present appearances of the unit of 
surface acts directly to enhance the concept itself. 

Mere observation or a picture of the imagination 
would generally have for its result a vague indi- 
vidual concept; but as the mind searches for 
causes its action becomes more intense, the observa- 
tion and imagination of surfaces move towards 
adequacy, for the good reason that the search for 
causes must necessarily enhance the clearness and 
distinctness of the effects. Thus, the study of 
y from the standpoint of Geography in- 
in a very marked degree the clearness 
of the individual concept corresponding to the 
surface. In other words, the study of Geography 
finds its highest and best results in the study of 
Geology. On the other hand, the study of Geogra- 
phy, or the present appearances of the earth's 
surface, is absolutely necessary to the study of 

The Central Subjects of Study. 31 

Geology. The field geologist marks with critical 
eye every appearance of surface, slope, elevation, 
or depression, in order to ascertain the history of 
the surface. 

It goes without saying that the opportunities for 
the study of these two subjects are countless. 
There is no bit of the earth's surface that is not 
full of the deepest interest to every child if the 
true teacher is there to supplement the questions of 

The relation of Mineralogy to Geology is the Mineralogy, 

relation of matter to motion. Mineralogy is the 
study of the rock material ; Geology, the study of 
the changes in the rock material. The nature 
of these changes is determined very largely by the 
nature of the rock itself. Thus, in the study of 
geology, the fi.rst question is : " What is the kind 
of material that is acted upon by physical forces ? 
Is it archaic ? Is it secondary rock ? sand-stone ? 
lime-stone ? " and so on to the end of the great 
chapter. We take u-p a rounded pebble from the 
beach, and ask of what kind of material is it 
composed, whence it came, what produced the 
changes in it, and then we classify the pebble 
itself. The earth may be called with truthfulness 
one great rock. This rock appears in a solid or 
ground-up state. Ground-up rock is superim^Dosed 
and forms the soil of the earth, from the coarsest 
gravel to the finest clay. The study of soils is the opportunities to 
study of Mineralogy. The true study of Mineral- study Mineralogy. 
ogy is the study of that which is right under 
our feet — the clays, gravels, sands, and vegetable 
mould, over which we walk, the things with which 
a child comes in contact every day. 

Thus we see that Geology cannot be studied 

alogy to Geogra 

32 Talks on Pedagogics. 

Relation of Miner- without a study of Mineralogy. What the study of 

aiogy to Geology, timber, brick, iron, and stone is to the construction 
of buildings, the science of Mineralogy is to the 

Relation of Miner- science of Geology. Also, as is the study of the 
building-material to the finished structure, so is 
the study of Mineralogy to Geography. Geography 
is the study of the present aj^jDearance of the 
earth's surface, or the external forms of rock sur- 
faces. Pure Geography is the study of form alone. 
The character of the surface, the nature of meeting 
slopes, river basins, valleys, etc., is determined by 
the kinds of minerals of which the surfaces con- 
sist and the nature of the forces which have acted 
upon them. Allow -me to make one remark. Fol- 
lowing the usual text-book science, there is a 
studied attempt at the distant, the marvellous, 
such as volcanoes, earthquakes, as if these subjects 
would excite the child's curiosity more than the 
marvels right under his feet of clay and gravel, 
vegetable mould, and wonderfully modelled forms. 
The real miracles are closest at hand. Enough has 
been said to show the organic unity of the three 
subjects. Geography, Geology, and Mineralogy; 
they exist in the closest relations, they cannot be 
severed in thought, except by unscientific teaching. 

Change. The thought that everything changes in this 

universe of ours, that there is no such thing as ab- 
solute quiescence, that differences in changes are 
only differences in time and differences in forces 
and resistance, that the planets move in their 
orbits, that the earth moves around the sun, that 
the whole earth is changing at every moment 
under immutable laws, that the mountains are 
lifted up and are ground down by ever-acting 
energies, is overwhelming^ All is change and mo- 

The Central Subjects of Study. ^z 

tion. The crust of the earth we walk on floats, 
we are told by geologists, upon a wavering mass. 
Creation is the order of progress, if we take the 
hypothesis of evolution that the energy which acts 
through the universe is becoming economized, 
that it acts against less resistance and therefore ac- 
complishes higher results. Geology is the science 
of everlasting change written in the earth's crust; 
Geography is one phase of that change. 

There are two great sciences of change and mo- physics and Chem- 
tion. The science of direct force we call Physics ;^y' 
the science of more subtle changes in the rock, in 
the water, and in the air we call Chemistry. It 
seems that no argument is required to show that 
the studies of Geography, Geology, and Mineralogy 
are impossible without the essentially correlative 
studies of Physics and Chemistry. Geology is the 
science of change; Geography, one phase of that 
change; Mineralogy, Meteorology, the sciences of 
the material through which force acts in producing 
the change. Pure Geography is the study of the 
forms of the earth's surface. The earth's surface 
has been modelled and is being modelled under the 
attrition of external forces and the slow movements 
of internal upheavals and subsidences. 

The crust of the earth floats on plastic material 
like a raft upon water, yielding to its movements 
either in upheaval, subsidence, or folding by lateral 
pressure. Water forms a partial envelope of the 
surface of the crust, changing under heat to vapor, 
and condensing for lack of heat. The atmosphere The Atmosphere. 
is a complete envelope of the earth. That mode 
of motion called heat acts through air, causes its 
movements, fills it with invisible and visible forms 
of water, determines condensation into clouds and 


Talks on PedaooPtcs. 

Sanshine and 

Def inition of 

Subjects that re- 
late to Sciences of 
Inorganic Matter. 

rain, moves by air-currents the great rivers of the 
ocean. The atmosphere, with its suspended mois- 
ture, is the great medium through which heat acts, 
reacts upon the crust of the earth, changing it, 
modelling it, creating new surface forms. The 
science of heat, that physical life-giving energy, 
acting through air, water, and rock, is Meteorology. 
We may call Meteorology, also, the science of the 
distribution of sunshine. The products of sun- 
shine are light and heat. Meteorology is the 
Physics and Chemistry of heat, manifested in air 
and vapor. The unity of Meteorology and all other 
sciences of inorganic matter seems too plain to 
need discussion. The main point in Geology is to 
discover the climatical conditions under which the 
different rock formations had their origin. Coal 
is stored-up sunshine. The observation of the 
effects of air and of water in all its forms in model- 
ling surfaces makes Meteorology, Geology, Mineral- 
ogy, Geography, Physics, and Chemistry insepa- 
rable in the economical acquisition of knowledge. 

We have then the central subjects of thought 
that relate to inorganic matter : 

Centkal Subjects. Modes of Motion, or 

Meteorology. Laws of Change. 

Geograpliy. Physics 

Geology. and 

Mineralogy. Cliemistry. 

These subjects which I have shown to be organi- 
cally one subject, indissolubly bound or united by 
the very nature of the subjects themselves, may 
be called the sciences of inorganic matter, and the 
sciences of the forces which act through and change 

It is now our purpose to show the relation of 

The Central Subjects of Study. 35 

the sciences of inorganic matter to the sciences 

pertaining to organic matter, or to life. The state- Relation of 

ment may he made that tlie above-named sciences, Scieiices of imor- 
•' ' ganic Matter to 

Meteorology, Geography, Geology, Mineralogy, Life. 

Physics, and Chemistry, looked npon as one science, 
the science of inorganic matter, are organically 
related to the science of life. These subjects pre- 
sent the studies of the physical basis, the environ- 
ment, the support, and nourishment of living 
organisms. This is a relation of function, or of 
cause to effect. Minerals, air, and water are the 
materials for the physical basis of life, and also the 
support and nourishment of life, but failing in the 
great mode of motion, heat, and the consequent 
subtle chemical changes, there could be no physical 
life. Geography, the science of the surface forms 
of the earth, and Meteorology, the science relating 
to the great air-envelope of the earth, and to the 
forces acting through the atmosphere, may justly 
be called the studies of the environment of life. Environment of 
The function of this environment is to influence ^^®- 
life in all its forms, qualities and modes. The 
study of environment then consists in observa- 
tions and investigations of the energies which act 
through inorganic matter and influence the ger- 
mination, growth, and development of living 

Botany is the science of the lowest forms of life. Botany. 

How can one plant be observed without first learn- 
ing its structural environment, its relations to 
climate, to air, to water, and to heat ? Pull it up 
by the roots, and the questions of Mineralogy 
meet the eye. Geology and Geograjshy are studies 
of the forms of rock material; Anatomy is the 
study of forms of life ; Physics and Chemistry of 

3^ Talks on Pedagogics. 

inorganic matter are called Physiology in its rela- 
tion to living organisms. The relations of in- 
organic matter to living organisms are of the closest 
Dependence of nature. That knowledge of a plant which does not 

Plant Life upon its ij^clufje j^s physical basis, its support, nourish- 
Environment. . is.' 

ment, and function, is of little use, I beg leave 

to say that I am not trying to unfold a philosophy 
of the natural sciences, but to show the unity of 
tliese sciences in their relations to the action of the 
child's mind and to his education. What the soil 
is, what the air is, what the climate is, what the 
surface is, so will be the development of the plant. 
Changes in surface mean changes in the support 
and environment of plant life. Changes in meteo- 
rological relations mean corresponding changes in 
plant life. The surface which receives great heat 
and regular rains gives us luxuriant forests; reg- 
ular rains with less heat, until we reach the arctic 
regions, also give us forests; scanty or periodical 
rains, grass lands; no rain, deserts. Thus, any 
efficient knowledge of plant life and the distribu- 
tion of vegetation depends absolutely upon the 
knowledge of the structure of the surface and of 
Dependence of Each living organism is a focus of external ener- 

upon their En- gies which concentre upon it. The number and 
vlronment. qualities of the energies which act upon a living 

organism are determined by the organism itself. 
The more developed an organism is, the more com- 
plex its life, the more energies concentrate upon it 
and develop it. In this sense, the higher the ascent 
in the scale of life the more dependent life be- 
comes upon its environment, and the more it 
derives from its surroundings. Thus living beings, 
no matter how high their development, can never 

The Central Subjects of Study. 37 

be freed in this world, at least from their environ- 
meut. The artist who stands on the beetling crag 
receives far more from the earth and air than the 
chamois; the traveller who is now drawn over the 
Eocky Mountains by a locomotive is more depend- 
ent upon physical force than the early pioneer 
who wheeled his barrow over the trackless plains. 
Human progress needs more, demands more, and 
takes more from nature, and in this sense is more 
dependent upon environment. 

The limit of the line of absolute dependence of 
animal life upon its surroundings can hardly be 
drawn; it is indeed of the closest nature. The 
best illustration of the dependence of the evolution 
of animal life upon Geography and climate is 
shown by Paleontology. From the archaic rock The Record of 
up to the latest drift the record of geological Paleontology^ 
periods is kept by the mineral moulds, and the 
remains of plants and animals found in each 
evolved formation. From the record of a geologi- 
cal period thus kept the geologist constructs in 
imagination the surface structure and climate of 
the earth, then adapted as a physical basis and 
environment of the living creatures of that period. 

The hypothesis is doubtless true of all geological 
'periods, that the structure and climate of the earth 
had a tremendous influence U25on both the animal 
and vegetable life which they sustained. If that 
is true of the past, and if the present structure of 
the earth is the result of all the former geological 
changes, why has its varied climate not the same 
powerful influence in developing the animal life 
that it had in any and all periods which led up to 

No fact is more evident than the dependence of 


38 Talks on Pedagogics. 

animal life upon structural and climatic environ- 
ment, and also npon vegetation. Animal life, or 
Zoology, therefore, cannot be economically studied 
without studying all the subjects comprised in the 
environment of life : i.e., the sciences of inorganic 
life and the science of Botany. We study, for in- 

Coverings of Ani- stance, the skin and other coverings of animals, 
and the protections which they afford. The ques- 
tion of animal covering leads directly to the study 
of climate. Again, animals of the plains differ 
from animals whose abode is in the mountains. 
The camel adapts himself to the life of the desert. 
The same species of animals, it is true, exist in 
different zones and live upon different character- 
istic areas of land, but the modifications of different 
environments upon the same species are marked. 
Indeed, I need not take your time in discussing 
the intimate relation of all animal life to structure 
and climate. The fact I wish to make clear is that 
there can be no study of Zoology, worthy the name, 
without the study of the relations of animal life to 
its physical basis, environment, nourishment, and 

Primary Study of The primary study of Zoology should consist in 
investigating the habits and habitats of the little 
folks in feathers and in fur. What animals eat, 
how they procure their food, the houses they live 
in, the homes they make for themselves, and the 
surroundings of their homes are subjects of intense 
interest to children. And, too, they not only serve 
to arouse the keenest pleasure, but they are at the 
same time the very best subjects for elementary 
studies. The study of the homes and environment 
of animals is also a study of Geography, as well as 
a study of Botany and Zoology. 


The Central Subjects of Study. 


The study of Zoology, with all that it implies in 
the unification of studies, is in every step a prepara- 
tion for the study of the Zoology of the highest 
animal, man. The zoological study of man is 
Anthropology, and should be pursued by exactly Anthropoiogj'. 
the same methods by which the lower animals are 
studied. Man is far more under the influence of 
climate and structure, and therefore more depend- 
ent upon them, than less complex or less developed 
beings. Man, it is true, overcomes, commands, 
controls, and uses his environment. Just so far as 
he does this is he developed into higher stages of 
being. To know, then, the history of the evolu- 
tion of man, we must know the environment, the 
circumstances, the energies, which have influenced 
his acts. Did he live upon grassy plains ? In 
forests ? Was he protected by mountains ? Was 
he under the influence of burning heat or the cold 
of the extreme zones ? What was his food, his 
clothing, his means of shelter ? What obstacles 
had he to overcome ? All these questions, intrinsic 
to the study of Anthrojjology, lead directly to the 
study of all the central subjects. 

The living environment of individual life or 
community influence, all upon each, and each upon commmiity Life. 
all, is next in importance to the study of structural 
and climatic environment. The relative influence 
of masses of vegetation upon the individual plant 
is of the closest nature. The tree in the pasture 
spreads its broad branches over a large space; the 
tree in the forest shoots up into the air with its 
long trunk. Thus each individual is influenced 
by the mass. There is also the study of assembled ^ 
brute life; indeed, the knowledge of the relations 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

of flocks, coveys, and herds to each other is abso- 
lutely a necessity in the study of the individual. 

The mutual relations of human beings, and 
their potent influences upon each other in families, 
gens, phratries, clans, tribes, and nations, opens 

Ethnology. the intensely interesting subject of Ethnology, 

so rich in recent investigations. Anthropology is 
allied to Ethnology by the intimate notions of the 
particular and the general, the individual and the 
mass. Ethnology is then the science of the influ- 
ence of a community upon its members. Mutual 
influence is far stronger in its determination of 
character than structural and climatic environ- 
ment; human life in itself is far more potent in its 
possibilities than all that lies below it and supports 
it. Still, as the body reacts upon the soul, so that 
which forms the physical basis, the support and 
nourishment, of communities reacts upon the as- 
sembled or ethnographic soul. Material environ- 
ment, so called, is a powerful factor in shaping 
human life, but life itself transcends all other 
influences: like myths, like fetiches, totems, re- 
ligions, forms of government, appear and reappear 
in all tribes and all peoples since the beginning, 
without the slightest mark of collision or mutual 

Nevertheless, the stages of human evolution are 
in a great degree determined by the nature of 
countries, their surface forms, climate, flora and 
fauna. The vexed question of the origin of the 

The Aryan Race. Aryan race, of which there are at least one hundred 
and fifty theories, has led to the closest study of 
Geography and its kindred sciences, proving that 
without such knowledge the most protracted re- 
searches cannot arrive at a stable hypothesis. 

The Central Subjects of Study. 41 

Grassy plains have one easily determined influence, Effects of struc- 

forest plains another; mountain walls have served ^'^^^ '^p"" ■^^°p^^*- 

as refuges for peoples too far advanced for constant 

wars. A sea-coast with protecting walls gave the 

Phoenicians the conditions for commerce ; the 

Syrian desert and the natural moat of the Jordan 

shut in a race long enough to develop stable homes 

and consequent progress; embraced by the sands 

of two deserts the ribbon plain and fan-like delta 

of Egypt gave the world a mighty civilization. 

Wherever we look or listen, the Mother Earth and 

Father Sky tell their stories of the growing life of 


Ethnology in its broadest meaning comprehends Ethnology. 

History: the former has for its principal means of 
investigation language, literature, buildings, tools, 
inventions, and the results of anthropological 
study; History adds the written and printed records 
of mankind. Although History is the most prom- 
inent factor in acquiring a knowledge of the 
eternal laws which have controlled the spirit of 
man in his evolution, the real truth of printed 
records is hidden in a mass of prejudice, flattery of 
authorities, misrepresentations, superstitions, and 
even rank falsehoods. The subjects peculiar to 
Ethnology interpret and explain obscure points in 

The earth is the home of man ; vegetation and Earth as the Home 
animal life comprise its furniture and furnishings. °^^^°* 
Each characteristic area of surface may be called 
an apartment in this home. It has a definite shape, 
consisting of meeting slopes, of valleys, hills, and 
mountains, of rivers and seas. The tremendous 
influence of natural environment upon the evolu- 
tion of tribes and nations I have already briefly 


Talks on Pedagogics, 

Ittfluence of 

Psychological Re 
latiou of History 
to Geography. 


discussed. One river (the Nile), one alluvial plain 
fertilized by floods, gave us, says Eanke, monothe- 
ism and monarchy. The Pindus, with its mountain 
spurs enclosing valleys and opening upon the sea, 
gave us polytheism and democracy. There can be 
no efficient explanation of countless differences in 
beings of one species without a thorough knowledge 
of Geography and Meteorology. 

But Geography has a close psychological relation 
to History. The initial mental action in the study 
of History is that of the imagination: events, 
architect^^re, cities, the composition and march of 
armies, points of strategy, the prominent char- 
acters, must be clearly pictured in the mind; but 
such pictures are ever changing with kaleidoscope 
rapidity in the onward-moving tide of time. 
Forests spring up and are destroyed; nations rise 
and perish; wars succeed wars; and conquests, 
conquests: one factor remains comparatively fixed 
and stable, and that is the great background of 
events, the stage of human comedies and tragedies, 
the land itself. A vivid concept of the structure 
of a country is the main means of binding his- 
torical knowledge into one still greater concept. 
Events, dates, narrations, characters, are facts 
mingled in hopeless confusion without an adequate 
knowledge of Geography. No system of mnemonics 
can be compared for a moment with the assistance 
a clear concept of structure affords to the memory 
of historical facts. We are thus able to follow the 
march of armies, migrations, the extension of em- 
pires by conquest and colonization, and retain in 
the mind all the intrinsic features. The study of 
History without the continual use of the best maps 
is an extravagant use of time and a waste of 230wer. 

The Central Subjects of Study. 


I hold, then, in this brief ontline of a vast sub- 
ject, tliat all these central subjects of study are in 
fact one subject. The child begins all these sub- The CMid begins 
jects spontaneously, and these tendencies, these 5^^ t^^^ ^^''^^'^*^ 
spontaneous activities are the indications, positive, 
of that which should afterwards follow in educa- 

These subjects can be considered as one in Relation of Form 
several relations. First, they are related in the *° *^^ ^^^^^^^ 
study of form. The universe is filled with mat- 
ter. The human mind has the power to differ- 
entiate by inference one object from all other 
objects. Form may be called the surface limita- 
tions of a body of matter, or of an object. Even 
the forms of invisible bodies of matter must be 
known in order to make any rational deduction as 
to cause and effect. We began to know what 
colors are, when the shape and rapidity of waves 
of ether were discovered. We took our first lesson 
in sound when we measured the shape and extent 
of an air-wave. We shall know electricity when 
we can measure the form of each vibration and 
the time of its continuance. In fact the study oi'^^^"^'^^^^ ^^ 
form is intrinsic to all the central subjects of i,ie ^o au study. 
study. Geography is the pure study of form, form 
of the earth's surface. Geology is no less a study 
of form, but has to do more with the direct forces 
which produce the form. Mineralogy is properly 
a study of form. Anatomy is the study of the 
structure of living organisms from the lowest to 
the highest. The form of an object is the product 
of energy which acted through the form of the 
object which preceded it and out of which it was 
produced. Form is the product of energy. 

There is another relation which binds all study 

Subjects in Fimc- 

44 Talks on Pedagogics. 

together, and that is the study of number. We 
can have no accurate knowledge of matter unless 
we know the exact size of material bodies. We 
must know length, breadth, and thickness; we 
must know weight; we must measure the force 
which acts through it, and know the time of its 
duration. Therefore number, as a mode of judg- 
ment, is common to the study of all the central 

There is still a closer unity in the study of the 

Unity of Central central subjects, and that is the unity of function, 
tlie dependent interrelation of the subject of one 
study upon the subjects of all studies. Leave out 
the subject of one study, and none of the others 
could exist. Each subject exists because the 
others exist. The function of minerals, the func- 
tion of air, and of heat acting through air, the 
function of the physical basis of life to the life 
which it supports and nourishes, are all interde- 
pendent. Thus a knowledge of plant life is utterly 
dependent upon all of the other subjects of study. 
The same can be said of brute life and of the high- 
est animal — man. So we can say that these subjects 
are bound together in function, and we can take it 
for granted that there is no atom in this universe, 
no form or body of matter, that has not its specific 
use, and infer that this use is the highest when it 
serves to develop the highest creation of God — 

Initial study is always the study of effects. We 
study effects directly; we observe and investigate 
effects, the form and quality of the mineral, each 
stage of Geology, each phase of Geography. But 

canse and Effect, an effect presupposes a cause ; indeed, a knowledge 
of effects is useless in education unless it leads 

The Central Subjects of Study. 45 

directly to the investigation of causes. Indeed, all 
educative study since man Breathed has been the 
study of causes. Causes cannot be exactly known 
unless effects are exactly known. As is the knowl- 
edge of effects, so will be the judgments of causes. 
Effects are jn-esented to the ego through the senses 
and by the imagination; just as they are known so 
can their causes be known. The hypotheses, by 
the thousands, that have been swept away by later 
investigations have been inferences from limited 
observation and inadequate investigation of effects. 
We can say, then, that all these subjects are bound 
together by the studies of cause and effect, or the 
observation and investigation of effects, and the 
inferences of causes. 

But there is another name for the study of cause 
and effect, and that is the study of law, immutable, 
unchangeable law. A law of nature can be de- Natural Law. 
fined as the direction of energy acting through 
bodies of matter. The quality of the object 
through which energy acts determines the quality 
of the energy which acts through it. We can take 
it as a sound hypothesis that there is one all- 
efficient energy which acts through matter. This 
matter is differentiated into bodies and objects by 
energy itself, and energy in turn is differentiated 
in its action through different qualities of matter. 
I repeat, the quality of the object itself determines 
the direction of the energy which acts through it, 
and changes its form and qualities. Thus we 
study force, and only force as an end, in the stud- 
ies of Geography, Geology, and Mineralogy. We 
call these studies of the laws of force, Physics and 
Chemistry. When we come to organic life, we call 
the laws of energy the laws of life, or the chemistry 

46 Talks on Pedagogics. 

and physics of life, Physiology, or, more compre- 
hensively, perhaps. Biology. 
AU study is study I would present, then, the study of Imv as the 
or God's^LawT^*' ®^^ ^^^^ ^^"^ °^ ^^^ these central subjects of study. 
I would lay down the hypothesis, which can 
scarcely be called a Avorking hypothesis, that there 
is only one study, and that study is the study of 
the Infinite, All Efficient Energy, differentiated 
in its action through bodies of matter of different 
qualities and properties, first the non-sensient, in- 
organic matter, and second the sensient, organic 
matter. The study of law, or the study of dif- 
ferentiated energies acting through matter, is the 
one unit of investigation. I can assert that, from 
the beginning, man's growth and development have 
utterly depended, without variation or shadow of 
turning, upon his search for God's laws, and his 
application of them when found, and that there 
is no other study and no other work of man. 
We are made in His image, and through the knowl- 
edge of His laws and their application we become 
like unto Him, we approach that image. 
Unity of studies. All study is a unit; the focus of all efficient 
energy is the human soul, endowed with reason 
to know that energy, and the motives to apply 
it. All acts of consciousness are non-spacial, 
non-ponderable energy, pure energy, and the hu- 
man ego infers from the presence of differentiated 
energies in consciousness, the nature of the matter 
external to consciousness, the matter through which 
these energies act. I rejjeat, my fellow-teachers, 
that there is but one study in this world of ours, 
and I can call it, in one breath, the study of law, 
and the study of God. 

Form as a Mode of Judgment. 47 



I HAVE discussed, first, the tendencies of the Resume. 

human mind as evinced by the spontaneous activ- 
ities of the little child, and the direction of these 
tendencies which include in their germs all subjects 
of thought; second, I have also discussed the unity 
of the central subjects of thought, and shown that 
this unity consists in the study of the laws of 
energy which act through matter. It is now my 
purpose to discuss the two modes of judgment, 
form and number, as indispensable factors of 
mental action in the acquisition of knowledge, 
and at the same time in the development of mental 

All space known to man is filled with matter Space fUied witi 
— earth, air, water, and ether. Any portion of^^"^'^* 
matter, differentiated and made definite to the 
mind by means of an individual concept corre- 
sponding to that portion of matter, may be called 
an object. All space is filled with objects. An 
object is known to the mind, and known only, by 
an individual concept which corresponds to it. 
Although this definition of an object is not com- 
plete, it is sufiicient for our purpose, as we are 
discussing the relation of matter to mind. 

We are apt to limit objects to portions of solid 
matter. Every object, for instance, has length, 
breadth, and thickness. An oral word, wave of air 
or ether, a sound, a note in music, a written word. 

48 Talks on Pedagogics. 

and a numerical figure, are just as mueli objects as 
a tree, a stone, or a mountain. A wave of air has 
length, breadth, and thickness; it has a definite 
shape, it occupies space, and it consists of matter. 
Definition of an Any defined portion of matter, therefore, occupy- 
oWect. iiig space, and having a fixed boundary in space, is 

an object. It is true that, so far as we know, each 
object is infinitely divisible, and therefore each 
part of an object may be called an object itself. This 
gives the word ohjed a very broad significance. 
Each successive wave of ether that touches the eye 
stimulates and arouses elementary ideas in con- 
sciousness, each vibration that touches the ear and 
makes the mind conscious of a corresponding sound, 
is an object. They are definite portions of matter, 
and have definite shapes. Each vibration of heat, 
sound, or electricity is an object. A wave of ether 
one eight-hundred-trillionth of a second in dura- 
tion is as much an object as is a mountain mass. 
A wave upon the surface of the ocean is an object, 
and just as much an object as its corresponding 
form in land surface, on the prairie. Each and 
every object has a definite form. The form of 
an object is the surface boundaries of that object, 
or its superficial limitations. Each object is lim- 
ited by a surface or surfaces. 

All objects change. They are continually be- 
coming other objects. It is perfectly safe to say 
All is Everlasting that no object in the universe remains identical 
Change. -vvith itself in any two successive moments of time. 

The differences in changes of different objects are 
marked by differences in time. A wave of ether 
exists in one form, — as I have already said, one 
eight-hundred-trillionth of a second. Changes in 
solid material are far slower, but everything 

Form as a Mode of Judgment. 49 

changes; every portion of matter is becoming 
something else at every moment ; in fact, all there 
is for man to study is the phenomena of everlast- 
ing change. 

Matter does not change itself. I think it safe Matter does not 
to hold the hypothesis that there is no energy change itself . 
inherent in matter. Matter is a condition of 
change, but not the means of changing. We can 
give the cause of all changes in matter one gen- 
eral term, that of energy. Physical energy acts Energy. 
through inorganic matter; life, the higher form of 
energy, acts through organic matter; and the result 
of these energies is a continual and continuous 
becoming. Let me refer again to a hypothesis 
presented in a preceding talk : " The qualities of 
an object through which energy acts determine the 
direction of the energy or the law of the energy." Laws of Energy. 
Any one act of energy causes a change in the ob- 
ject; that is, it becomes another object with another 
form and other qualities. Supposing energy to 
be one unchangeable, all-effieieut, complete unit, 
we can then suppose that this unit of energy 
is differentiated through and by means of the 
qualities of matter through which it acts. Energy 
is known to the mind by means of the effects of 
its differentiation into attributes, or simple ener- 
gies, which creates mental elements in the brain 
through the sensory tracts. Without qualities 
of matter, we may infer that there would be 
no differentiation of energy, and therefore no 
knowledge of energy, or inferences in regard to 
matter through which energy acts, possible to the 
human mind. The quality of an object, I repeat, 
through which energy acts — and energy acts 
through all objects— determines the direction of 

50 Talks on Pedagogics. 

that energy. This differentiated energy acts upon 
and manifests itself in consciousness if the organ- 
I ism is capable of receiving it. 

/ All objects are being changed, we can say, con- 
tinually, by physical and life forces. Each and 

I every change in an object causes a change in the 

I form of that object. Thus form is the product of 

j energy. 
Form the Product The qualities of an object at one moment de- 
nergy. terrnine the qualities of the object into which it 

is changed the next. We study, for instance, the 
development of the earth's surface. This develop- 
ment is manifested to us in forms and in the suc- 
.cessive changes in forms, from the old archaic 
rock, up through all the changes to the geo- 
graphical forms of the present. We seek for the 
forces and the laws of those forces which brought 
about the changes. We trace the change of each 
successive formation, the present effect and the 
present form, giving us a clue to the causes of that 
form. This is only an illustration of the study 
of all objects. All changes in matter result in 
changes in form. We follow the acorn from its 
planting to its becoming a mighty tree. It exists 
in one form, that of the acorn; then changes into 
another form, and then into others, each successive 
change demanding a new direction of energy, 
resulting in a new form. 

Form the Supreme Every quality or property of matter is known 

Manifestation of r^ . . ?^ ^ -. . -r . ^ 

Energy. nrst oi all by its form, i am not here saymg 

that there are no other intrinsic qualities in 

matter except form ; but I think we can truly 

say that /orm is the supreme manifestation of 

energy, and that without a knowledge of form, or 

without the power of judging form with some 

Form as a Mode of Judgment. 51 

degree of accuracy, there can be no such thing 
as educative knowledge. 

If, then, all knowledge depends primarily upon 
a knowledge of form, it becomes a question of vast 
importance for us, as teachers, to. know how a 
knowledge of form, is acquired by the mind. This 
question I shall attempt to answer tentatively. 
The bases of all mental action are acquired through 
the senses or by the action of external energy The Senses, 

through the sensorium. There are five great 
avenues for this action of external stimuli. The . 
senses of smell and taste are not in a high degree smeii and Taste, 
educative. Their function is defensive, — to ward 
off that which is not healthy for the mind and 
body; and they also enhance physical pleasure. 
The sense of hearing is in a very high degree Hearing:. 

educative. Music in itself is of profound educative 
influence, but the principal menial use of sound is 
to arouse thought by means of symbols composed of 
sounds, as in oral language. Most sounds are thus 
representative in their action. The same may be 
said of the sense of sight. Great as the educative Sight 

influence of color is upon the mind, its highest 
function is to arouse in consciousness individual 
concepts corresponding to external forms. The 
senses of smell, taste, hearing, or sight do not 
develop directly and immediately concepts cor- 
responding to form; their function in relation to 
form is representative, and not creative. 

The development of the knowledge of form is 
left fundamentally to the greatest intellectual 
sense, that of touch. Knowledge of form is the Touch, 

direct product of the action of the tactual sense. 
Although touch may in a certain degree be a 
substitute for the products of the other senses. 

52 Talks on Pedagogics, 

one or all of the products of the other senses can- 
not in any way be a substitute for the effects of 
touch. The continued action of the sense of sight 
in observation cannot ititrinslcalli/ enliance a 
Knowledge of knoioledge of form. It is true^, classification of 
Form the Product forms and reasoning in regard to forms are brought 
ggj^gg_ about by all the senses, and probably that of 

sight plays a most active part; but any approx- 
imation to adequacy whatever in form concepts 
can only be brought about by the direct exercise 
of the sense of touch. 

All energies which act through matter must first 
touch, or come in contact with, the end-organs of 
the senses, before they can enter the brain over the 
Au Senses arc sensory tracts. Therefore, all the senses may be truly 
Tactual. called tactual; and, if we take the hypothesis of 

evolution, that all the senses were evolved out of, and 
x^u Senses evolved differentiated from, the fundamental sense of touch, 
^ottct. we get a clearer idea of the vital importance of the 

development of the tactual sense in education. 
Sound touches the whole body and causes vibra- 
tion, though it enters the brain only through one 
direct tract specially prepared by evolution for 
the action of that differentiated mode of energy. 
Color, too, acts upon the whole body, with, as we 
are told, an actinic effect; but it only enters the 
brain through its special tract, the optic nerve. It 
goes without saying that odor, whatever it may be,' 
touches the nostril, and that the feeling of taste is 
aroused by the contact of an object with the papillee 
of the tongue, especially developed for that pur- 
pose. The actions of the other senses, as I have 
shown, are over special sensory tracts, but the 
tactual sense, per se, is distributed over all the end- 
organs of the body. • 

Form as a Mode of Judgment. 53 

The lessons derived from children who have had 
the great misfortnne to have been born without, or 
to have early lost, one or more senses are invalu- 
able. Laura Bridgman taught us the immense Laura Bridgman. 
importance of the tactual sense, but most striking, 
and indeed the most beautiful, of all the examples 
is found in the modern case of Helen Kellar, a Helen KeUar. 
little girl of ten years of age (1891), who may be 
justly called a genius, whose knowledge is phe- 
nomenal, whose power of thought and expression 
is marvellous. And here I may say that the first 
few years of this child's life, after she lost the 
senses of hearing and sight, were spent in a blind, 
unreasoning desire to have some knowledge of and* 
contact with the outer world. The first, futile, 
passionate attempts to know without any guidance 
made Helen Kellar exhibit the traits of a brute; 
then came the marvellous teacher. Miss Sullivan, 
who simply presented the conditions for the nat- 
ural, and therefore best, action of this wonderful 
being. The result is as I have already said. I 
have never known a child of ten years of age 
who has the intellectual power of this poor deaf 
and blind girl. It cannot be denied that there 
are still traces in her mind of color and sound; but 
these must necessarily be faint, and have very little 
intellectual influence over her development. The 
lives of Laura Bridgman and Helen Kellar prove 
beyond all doubt that great intellectual power may 
be attained through the normal exercise of the 
sense of touch ; that the products of touch form 
the basis of all intellectual action. 

Touch is the subtile sense. Its action does not Touch the Snhtie 
excite the mind in general like the other senses, ^^°^^- 
and its elements are far more difficult to trace. 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Conscious Activi- 
ties non-spacial. 

The Two Myste- 
ries, Matter and 

Knowledgre of 

Form in matter is the supreme manifestation of 
all efficient energy, therefore that power which 
enables the mind to know form must be its cor- 
relative in education. It follows that that sense 
by which form is conceived or judged in the mind 
must therefore stand first and in a better method 
of education, " The stone which the builders re- 
jected" will become "the head of the corner." 

All conscious activities, states of consciousness, 
all mental action directly known to the ego, are 
non-spacial and non-ponderable. They consist 
wholly and entirely of pure energy. This energy 
acts through matter, and finally through the high- 
est form and quality of matter, the human brain, 
and is known to the ego only as pure energy 
differentiated into elementary ideas or specific 
activities. All that is known of matter, or of 
the energies which act through matter, must be 
acquired by the action of the ego upon conscious- 
ness, and all knowledge of form, whether innate 
or acquired, is absolutely dependent upon non- 
spacial activity. The two great mysteries in this 
world are life and matter, and matter is the greater 
mystery. Matter . is inferred ; phases of life are 
known directly to the ego; that is, the ego knows 
itself to a limited degree. The light reflects from 
a wall, and the resulting waves excite elemen- 
tary ideas of color in consciousness. We judge 
by these conscious effects that the wall is yellow or 
red, but the nature of the matter which causes the 
changes in waves of ether and produces the at- 
tributes of yellow or red we do not know. 

A knowledge of form is absolutely indispensable 

form indispensable to a knowledge of the energy which acts through 
eSr^'*^^' °* matter, and the laws of that energy. The nearer 

Form as a Mode of Judgment. 55 

the approximation to adequacy a concept of form 
corresponding to an object comes, the higher or 
more valuable our knowledge of that object may- 
be, or our comprehension of the energy which 
acts through that object. The more nearly ade- 
quate the concept corresponding to an external 
form, the greater is the mind's power to know 
the object of which the form is a superficial 
boundary. A knowledge of form, then, is the 
great entrance hall to all knowledge; without 
knowledge of form, other knowledge is not pos- 

In a future talk I shall discuss to some length Cmdeness of indi- 
,1 , ., -, J ^ • J- -J 1 vidual concepts 

the obscurity and crudeness of individual con- 
cepts. The concepts produced by the spontaneous 
activities of the mind are exceedingly vague. It 
follows, therefore, that out of such crude concepts 
spontaneous comparison and subsequent classi- 
fication must also be exceedingly imperfect. There 
is no education in such comparisons and classifica- 
tions. These crude concepts are, it is true, the 
beginnings or the germs of education; but if they 
remain obscure and vague, the being will remain 
undeveloped and mentally weak. 

The problem is, then, by what mental action 
and by what conditions may these concepts corre- 
sponding to external forms, or the judgments of 
form, be developed ? When I discuss with you 
the subject of observation as a mode of attention, 
I shall endeavor to give some hints in the direc- 
tion of the development of the fundamental sense 
of touch. It remains to say in this connection 
that the best is last; that which is intrinsic in 
educational value is the nearest approximation to 
adequacy of the individual concept. The require- 

56 Talks on Pedagogics, 

Agassiz and his ment Agassiz made of his students, and his in- 
^^^^^' sistence upon long-continued observation of even 

the simplest organism of life, may be recalled as 
a striking illustration. They began to observe 
with crude, vague concepts, which did not contain 
the elements needed for the desired inferences. 
Only by the long-continued action of the objects 
upon their minds could obscure concepts be en- 
hanced or intensified and brought to the distinct- 
ness absolutely necessary for scientific investiga- 
Form as a mode of Form is a mode of judgment. There are no 
judgment. external forms in the mind. The knowledge of 

a form is a product of mental action entirely 
dependent upon the nature of the brain and 
upon external attributes of form acting through 
the sense of touch. The external attributes of 
touch create in the brain their corresponding 
elementary id eas or pe rcepts. These elementary 
ideas are united into individual cqncegi;s by the 
action of objects through all the senses, notably 
that of sight. The individual concepts united in 
consciousness are known by the ego in analy- 
sis, comparison, classification, and consequent pro- 
Education value I cesses of reasoning. Upon their approximation to 
of form concepts, i adequacy depends the educational value of the 
analysis, inference, and generalization. Defective 
and crude analysis, comparison, classification, in- 
ference, and generalization are the inevitable 
results of crude and obscure individual concepts. 
This fact cannot be impressed too strongly upon 
the attention of teachers. By the ordinary action 
of objects through the senses elementary ideas arise 
above the plane of consciousness and are united 
or synthetized into wholes. Observation is the 

Form as a Mode of Judgment. 57 

elaboration and intensification of tliese individual 
concepts by the continued action of external objects j 
upon consciousness. ' 

The mind has the power to construct new 
unities out of sense products, new individual 
concepts, which are not the direct result of the 
action of objects. This power of the mind is smagiaation. 
called imagination. The mental process, so far 
as the synthesis of ideas is concerned, is precisely 
the same as in the ordinary action of the senses 
in observation. In seeing, hearing, and touch- 
ing the object itself is the cause of the syn- 
thesis. Imagination is the power to synthetize/ 
or unite elementary ideas into wholes, without! 
the direct action of external objects. The rela-i 
tions, however, of sense products and of indi- 
vidual concepts acquired by observation, to the 

products of the imagination, are exceedinfflv close. ■'*^'^°^^'^*'*"^p^°" 
£,, . . , T , • , T • . <l^cts of observa- 

The vividness, distinctness, and intensity of the tion upon products 

individual concepts, constructed by the imagina- °^ "^^^"^**^°"* 
tion, depend fundamentally upon the vividness, 
distinctness, and intensity of the elementary ideas 
which form individual concepts created by external 
attributes and objects through the senses; the re- 
lation, if I may use the illustration, is of material 
to construction. The psychic elements and unities 
of elements are the materials out of which are 
constructed or syntlietized the products of the 
imagination. As the former are in clearness and 
distinctness, so will the latter be. A person with Relative value of 
crude ideas of form can never by the imagination crude concepts. 
construct anything but crude forms. Or we can 
state it in this way: the only educational value that 
crude or obscure elementary ideas and imperfect 
individual concepts have, consists in the fact that 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Imagfination the 
power to go be- 
yond the sense 


they are the germs or potentialities for develop- 
ment. They will never reach an educational value 
until they are developed into clearness and dis- 
tinctness. On the other hand, a good observer 
may not have a highly trained imagination; be- 
cause this psychic material is in the brain is no 
direct evidence that the imagination will be exer- 
cised: however, the proof is almost self-evident of 
the relation of the products of the senses and of 
observation to the products of imagination. 

Through imagination we are able to go beyond 
the limited horizon of the senses. Sense training 
and sense development are the preparatory steps to 
this great journey into tlie unseen. Observation is 
the principal mental educative process of individual 
conception when the objects are within the sense 
grasp; imagination, the educative process beyond 
the realm of sense. In all the creations of the im- 
agination, form is the primary, fundamental, and 
indispensable factor to mental action and mental 
power. There can be no reasoning, no effective 
study of cause, in Geography, Geology, Mineralogy, 
or any of the central subjects; there can be no 
effective hearing of language, no educative reason- 
ing, unless the mind has the power to construct 
clear images. I repeat, all these images or crea- 
tions of the mind are utterly dependent upon the 
sense products out of which they are constructed 
or formed. 

As form study is the construction of individual 
concepts of form by the immediate action of ob- 
jects upon consciousness, so Geometry is the 
science of imaging forms that lie beyond the limits 
of the senses. Geometry is the great means by 
which the imagination is aided in the construction 

Form as a Mode of Judgment. 59 

and relation of forms not directly called into being 
by external objects. This gives Geometry a com- 
manding position in all the central subjects of 
study. For instance, Geography in itself is a 
science of the surface forms of the earth ; the initial 
steps in Geology are through form, and the same 
can be positively said of Mineralogy. 

The study of Mathematical Geography is per- Mathematical 
haps the best illustration of the use of Geometry ^^°^^^^y- 
in the acquisition of that knowledge which has for 
its aim the distribution of sunshine over the earth's 
surface, and the causes of that distribution. No 
one step in reasoning, in this direction, can be 
taken without, first, the study of forms by observa- 
tion, and, second, the imagination of forms which 
lie beyond the reach of observation. The ten- 
dency of the mind is to relate all irregular forms 
of objects to conventional or typical forms. Geom- 
etry gives us the tyjjical form, as the basis of 
imaging the real form. Thus a river-basin may 
be first pictured as tAVO slopes meeting at their 
lower edges. The imaging of the two sloj^es thus 
meeting is the initial step to the mental construc- 
tion of any and all real river-basins. 

I trust that I have said enough to show clearly Froebei. 

the vast importance of form study and its intimate 
relation to Geometry, and the relations of both to 
a knowledge of the central subjects of study. I 
can here refer to the divine intuitions of Froebei 
and his great plan of educating little children, in 
which form plays the principal part. He taught 
us that the great intellectual sense of touch, and 
the products of this sense, form, lie at the basis 
of all intellectual development. 

Teachers may well ask. What opportunities has a 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Countless oppor- 
tunities to study 

child for form study ? Form study consists in 
the development of mental germs, crude and 
obscure, into distinct and approximately adequate 
concepts of form. We as teachers, following the 
traditions of our spiritual ancestors, have wandered 
far away from the essential subjects of study. Our 
mental vision has been fixed too much upon dead 
forms and formalism, and not upon the thought 
to be expressed. When we turn our eyes upon 
the central subjects of study, and their intrinsic 
value in human development, the opportunities 
for form study become to us endless and infinite; 
and we realize that the value of all true study de- 
pends upon the distinctness of concej)ts corre- 
sponding to external forms. 

Geography is fundamentally a study of form, 
forms of the earth's surface, forms of meeting and 
parting slopes, of which all the characteristic areas 
of the earth's surface consist. For years I have 
endeavored to lead graduates of High Schools 
and Colleges into the rich and beautiful fields of 
the imagination, which in Geography lie beyond 
the sense grasp. I find continual and funda- 
mental weakness in the action of the imagination. 

dents in power to j ^ ^^^. -^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^ -^ -^ ^^i^ reliance 


upon dead forms of expression, and not upon the 

reality. Observation of surface forms is the in- 
dispensable foundation of all attempts to image 
the continental structure; thus, field excursions 
in Geography are of the first importance. Under 
the direction of teachers who are keen observers, 
field excursions are never-failing sources of delight 
and economical instruction to the child. 

You will recall the discussion in regard to the or- 
ganic relation of Geography to Geology. Although, 

Weakness of stu- 

Form as a Mode of Judgment. 6i 

in the study of Geology and Mineralogy, color, study of form in 
density, and weight are of great importance, still ^^^^ organisms, 
form always stands first. When we rise from the 
subjects that pertain to inorganic matter to those 
that pertain to organic matter, we have a contin- 
uous study of form; in plant-life we have the form 
of the leaf, the stem, the flower, and the root. Form 
is the 251'incipal environment of the child, and the 
teacher's main purpose should be that the forms 
studied should continually enhance the conscious 
activities corresponding to the forms of external 
objects. The innumerable forms in nature and 
art may be reduced conventionally to a few types; Real forms and 
for instance, the sphere, the cylinder, and the typical forms, 
cube. There are no typical forms in nature. All 
the forms in nature are irregular. They depart in 
every line and surface from the conventional or 
typical forms. Therefore it seems logical that real 
or natural forms should be studied first, that they 
are more adapted to the crude concepts of the 
child, and that typical forms should be slowly 
approximated. When geometry becomes a neces- . 

sity in education, as it should very early, probably Grammar Schools, 
in the sixth, seventh, or eighth Grades in a gram- 
mar-school, then the direct study of conventional 
or typical forms becomes necessary in order to 
imagine the real forms which lie beyond the sense 

The conclusions that may be reached from this ^ , . 

. J, 1 1 . « p Conclusions. 

imperfect presentation oi the subject of form and 

Geometry study are these: first, the study of form 
and Geometry are of fundamental, intrinsic im- 
portance in education; second, all study of form 
may be confined to observation and the study 
of all the central subjects, — that is, there is no 

62 Talks on Pedagogics. 

necessity for form-lessons in themselves, or form 
study, without an immediate higlier aim in the 
study; third, that in the study of the central sub- 
jects which require the action of the imagination, 
the principles and propositions of elementary 
Geometry may be fully acquired in direct relation 
to the study of the central subjects; fourth, the 
immediate and the highest aim of the study of 
form and Geometry is to know the laws of energy 
acting through matter. 

Number— Relation to the Central Subjects. 63 



Arithmetic was one of the first subjects to be prominence of 
taught after the chissics had resigned their almost Arithmetic in 
universal sway; it was indeed the successor of clas- 
sics in the so-called lower-class or public schools. 
The cause 01 its popularity and universal use is 
not far to seek. It presented an immense amount 
of practice for both pupils and teachers, and it 
filled school-hours with definite exercises. The 
solving of problems, or, as it used to be called, "do- 
ing of sums/' was something that every teacher, 
no matter how uneducated or untrained, could 
give his pupils for tasks, and the people readily 
acknowledged the practicality of Arithmetic. Long 
before Geography was thought of, or English 
Grammar came into the schools, Arithmetic had 
taken a firm hold; and to-day it is probably true 
that one fourth of all the time in schools of 
English-speaking peoj)le is taken up by the study 
of this subject. 

Some progress has been made lately in the progress in teacii- 
methods of teaching number through German "^s^^"*^™^**^* 
educators, notably Grube and Bohme, who called 
particular attention to the use of objects as a 
means of teaching number, and to the fact that the 
five operations should be taught in immediate re- 
lation. With the exception of these improvements, 

64 Talks on Pedagogics. 

Arithmetic as a study remains practically the same 
as it has been for years — the solution of prob- 
lems, the memorizing of figures, and the learning 
of rules. No efficient attempt has been made to 
change the teaching of Arithmetic in our schools, 
except in the Primary Grades, since Warren Col- 
burn published his wonderful elementary Arith- 
Discovery of The science of numbers was discovered in the 

aritiimetic. remote past, out of the reach of recorded history, 

and, in common with all other sciences, it had its 
birth in mythology, as had chemistry in alchemy, 
and astronomy in astrology. Number was born in 
superstition and reared in mystery. We know that 
numbers were once made the foundation of religion 
and philosophy, and that the tricks of figures have 
had a marvellous effect on a credulous j)eople. 
Arithmetic essen- Arithmetic is an essential factor in every step of 
pr^gresf^ ^^^^ human progress; still, the subject as a school study 
has been held until to-day almost entirely apart 
from anything like practical education. That 
which is most deeply rooted in tradition has a sort 
of benumbing effect upon the intellect; the pro- 
found reverence of the average scholar for the 
past making him. accept the logic of his ancestors 
without question. 

Mathematics is called the exact science. The 

science of Arithmetic may be called the science of 

exact limitation of matter and things in space, 

force, and time. 

Importance of Nothing useful can be made or constructed 

arithmetic in au without the use of that mode of limitation called 

^ ^^' numbering. Not the simplest article of furniture, 

not an instrument, tool, machine, nor building, can 

be made without exact measurements. Commerce 

Number — Relation to the Central Subjects. 65 

would be impossible without the measurement of 
weight and bulk of articles. There could be no 
relation of values without number. All progress 
in science, as has already been said, is absolutely 
dependent upon number. Any knowledge of 
Geography, Geology, Chemistry, and above all else 
Physics, is impossible without accurate measure- 
ments of volume, weight, force, and time. That 
mode of judgment which we call numbering 
enters into every activity of life, and into every 
relation of science or business, — into the kitchen, 
into the parlor, into the workshop, manufactories, 
commerce, and into all human progress. Not an 
hour passes in an intelligent man's waking life 
without the necessity for the use of number, 

Numbers enter into all acts of practical life, The tnayprac- 
into all intel-'-^ct ual attainment ; they are essential ^^^' 
factors in all hu'Tr^an development. What is num- 
ber? What are the nature and function of those what is number ? 
acts of the mii^d which number ? By what mental 
process do the^ become known ? Number is a 
mode of judgment. There are no numbers or 
acts of numbering outside of consciousness. Num- 
ber is the product of mind, and does not exist out- 
side of the mir.'^ ,-V-A.ll that lies outside of and 
acts upon consci. isness may be considered as 
causes of effects in consciousness, but are entirely 
separated from the causes. 

An act of judgment in numbering is an act of Preparation for 
limitation. The little child spontaneously begins 'I'lm^ers uy a 
,. ... , . i,- T • ^ !•■ chUd'sspontane- 

ms practice m numbering or his preliminary studies ous activities. 

of number, just as soon as he tries to measure 
with his arm the distance between himself and 
any object, or the distance between himself and a 
chair, when he begins to creep or walk. All his 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Begumings of 

Necessity of care- 
ful definitions. 

early experiences are mixed np with vague striv- 
ings after definite limitations of weight, distance, 
and single things. When these vague inferences 
rise to positive and accurate judgments they may 
be called acts of numbering. 

The limiting adjectives, some, several, many, 
much, few, small, little, great, high, tall, long, 
short, are the expressions of inexact or vague in- 
ferences. These inferences are not acts of number- 
ing; they are but the beginnings, the initial steps, 
which create the necessity for accuracy, and there- 
fore lead up to numbering. Indeed, all efforts to 
measure distance, areas, weight, force, and time 
may be referred to that spontaneous action out of 
which exactness and accuracy may be developed 
by necessity or education. 

The tendencies of the chikrs SY-iontaneous or 
instinctive activities are the perfect indications of, 
what he should study, and as well the natural 
method of study. Many, if not most, of our 
pedagogical errors have their origin in the ignor- 
ance of the nature and functions of the subjects 
taught We were in the dark conceriiiug the 
practical educational value of color and the method 
of teaching it until scientists 9.^" Helmholtz dis- 
covered what color really is. Those subjects which 
have been taught for the longest time, such as 
Eeading and Arithmetic, are, as a rule, the least 
known. They are buried " full five fathoms deep " 
in tradition and pedantry. The best clue to the 
nature and function of number, as with all other 
subjects of thought, is to be found in the innate 
tendencies of the child manifested in his spontan- 
eous activities, — in what nature demands that he 
shall do in order to Tcnow. 

Number — Relation to the Central Subjects . 67 

From this standpoint, then, let us again ask. Form and size. 
What is number and what its function ? First, the 
child enters a visible, tangible world. His environ- 
ment acts upon him and arouses and develops 
mental life. His knowledge depends utterly upon 
the mental energies which resjiond to the action 
of external forces. He is surrounded by objects 
that stimulate judgment; — forms of differing size, 
weight, and dimensions. \ The form of an object is 
its surface limitations in space. I He is utterly de- 
pendent for his knowledge of iin object, his in- 
ferences in regard to an object, upon its corre- 
spondence in consciousness. That correspondence I 
is non-spacial. The fundamental knowledge of 
an object depends upon form and size. Form j 
and size are the exact limitations of an object in \ 
space. The knowledge of the form and size of an 
object is not only indispensable to the knowledge 
of that object, but also of its relations to other ob- 
jects, in comi^arison, classification, and consequent 

Size has three dimensions — length, breadth, and size. 

thickness. The spontaneous tendency of the in- 
tellect is to know length, breadth, and thickness. 
Whatever may be the innate or a priori tendencies 
of the mind, this much is sure — a knowledge of 
form and size must be acquired entirely by self- 
activity; and every act of the child, every move- 
ment of the body, of each and every organ of the 
body, either in attention or expression, has in it an 
element or an attempt at measuring size. That The child's first 
the child at first has no knowledge of distance is ^g^^ce! ° °^ 
shown by his reaching for the moon as confidently 
as he does for a lighted candle close to him. 
All his knowledge of size must come through 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Distance, area 

experience. Definite experience is acquired by 
habitual self-activity in one direction.' The direc- 
tion of knowing or inferring distance is a positive 
and inborn aptitude of the child. He strives to 
measure distance, area, and volume by the attention 
of all his senses and by the expressive acts of 
his whole body. It cannot be too often repeated 
that the first attempts at measuring are exceedingly 
vague and obscure. They are the invariable signs 
of exceedingly crude individual concepts. 

Nevertheless, the child is incessant in meas- 
uring and judging distance, area, and volume. 
For this purpose all his muscular activity, his 
muscular sense, is brought into continual action. 
In creeping and walking the child is always 
measuring with his eye, with his hands, with his 
feet, and indeed with his whole body. The first 
act of a child in walking is an act of measuring^ 
He attempts to take his first steps by calculating 
with his eye the distance between him and the 
outstretched arms of his mother. He creeps to- 
wards an observed object by first measuring the 
distance between himself and the kitten. Just 
as he makes for himself instinctive gestures and 
language, so he makes for himself measures of dis- 
tance, measures of area, and measures of volume. 
As his individual concepts rise from obscurity to 
clearness, there is a necessity for exact measure- 
ment. Then come the conditions for higher edu- 
cation, and an arbitrary scheme of mensuration 
takes the place of the child's instinctive plan. He 
knows intuitively one step and more than one 
. ' step. He learns from one step, two steps, if the 

Necessityof exact proper conditions are presented. He infers the 
distance of one foot, one yard, and with that men- 

Creeping and 


Number — Relation to the Central Subjects. 69 

t?al limitation he measures two feet, two yards. 
He gains these measures by his own experience, 
assisted by the language and directions of his 

The so-called abstract numbers mean nothing 
whatever to the child. To him they are worthless 
unless applied. When the proper • opportunities 
arise, he learns one inch, one foot, one yard, one 
square foot, one inch cube, etc. Thus, from mere Necessity of accu- 
spontaneous activities is developed the necessity for ""^^ ^*^ exact- 
exactness and accuracy. When the child feels the 
knowing distance, area, and volume, the proper con- 
ditions being presented, he will measure and learn 
length, breadth, and thickness. Thus, numbering 
activity is organically related to form activity. The 
mere form of an object finds its highest impor- 
tance in size. The knowledge of form is the 
initial step, the knowledge of size an absolute con- 
sequential necessity. 

A knowledge of size is a direct sequence to Relation of form 
knowledge of form. Form and size are really one *° ^^^^' 
in mental act, for there can be no individual con- 
cept corres|)onding to external form without some 
judgment, of the size of that form. The educa- 
tional question is: Is that judgment an exact one ? 
This brings fully to our minds the necessity of 
numbering. An object may be infinitely small 
or infinitely great, as to its dimensions, but iden- 
tical as to its form. A sphere one inch in diameter 
has exactly the same form as a sphere twenty- 
five thousand miles in diameter. The especial 
difference is in size, and that difference can be 
known only by the exercise of that mode of judg- 
ment which we call numbering. Apply these -» 
facts to the study of the central subjects, and we 


shall see what a vast field is presented for the, 
constant and continual exercise of the faculty of 

Turn to Geograj)hy: — the form of a continent 
one mile in length may be the same as the form 
of a continent — Eurasia, for instance — which is 
more than ten thousand miles long. A little brook 
basin may have the same form as the basin of a 
mighty river. The differences are in size. I have 
said that Geography is a study of the surface form 
of the whole earth, and characteristic areas of that 
surface; but I will here add, that the knowledge of 
area of the earth's surface and the area of any 
given characteristic unit of surface is fundamen- 
tal in all study of Geography. As the forms 
gained by observation determine precisely the 
imagined forms that lie beyond the sense grasp, 
so the measures of lines, areas, and volumes, that 
are gained by direct and immediate experience 
in observation, are the indispensable criterions by 
which we measure all space outside our sense 
horizon. A¥hatever these measures are, so will 
be our measures of the imagination. There can 
be no exact individual concept of the area of a 
continent. Most, if not all, the measures of space 
by the imagination are approximate. At the same 
time it may be repeated that whatever the meas- 
ures acquired by measuring with the hand, the 
eye, are, so will be the value of all approximate 
measures of the imagination. These measures ap- 
proximate adequacy just in projDortion to our 
experience. We travel a thousand miles upon 
the cars at the rate of thirty miles an hour. We 
measure vaguely the time by hours, and by that 
measure we form some approximate estimate of 

Number— Relation to the Central Subjects. 71 

the distance, and that becomes, in turn, the 
measure of another thousand miles, and another, 
and so on. The habit of accurate measuring is 
acquired solely by the exercise of the numbering 
faculty, which grows out of present and immediate 
necessities ever presenting themselves. Geography 
is a study of form and size; form is the fundamen- 
tal step, and size the immediate sequence. If the 
child had no other study than that of Geography, 
and the exercise of the numbering faculty met the 
necessities of the child's increasing knowledge 
both of observation and imagination, the oppor- 
tunities for the acquisition of the knowledge of 
Arithmetic, as it is now understood, would be fully 

The point I have to make here is that the opportunities for 
teacher must always know when there is a neces- exercising- the 

., „ . , , T 1 XI Jndgment in num- 

sity for measuring, must always know when the bering. 

numbering faculty should be exercised. In field 
excursions, or when riding on the car, the size of the 
field and the woods, the length of the slope, the 
breadth of the river or brook, or the area of the 
lake, should be approximated. It goes without 
saying, that unless the conditions for these neces- 
sities of knowing are presented to the child, the 
child's measuring power will remain in vagueness 
and obscurity, but the moment the necessity of 
knowing is presented, then the child feels that 
he should know the distance which he passes 
over, which he views with his eyes and which he 
measures with his feet. Then, in imagination, imagination, 
there can be no effective knowledge of the natural 
areas of the earth's surface, or the areas of politi- 
cal divisions, without this exercise of the number- 
ing faculty. After a study of the structure of the 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Arithmetic in 

Seek the centre. 

Density and 

United States, for instance, how many practical 
questions, appealing to the pupil's sense of right, 
can be made by comjoaring the sizes of the different 
states, one with another! How many Delawares 
in Texas ? How many Englands in the United 
States ? How many Hollands in Russia ? 

I have spoken of the study of form and Ge- 
ometry in the study of mathematical Geography, 
and what is said of form is also true of Arithmetic. 
To gain anything like a clear knowledge of the 
distribution of sunshine over the earth's surface, 
and the natural machinery for that distribution, 
arithmetical problems must come in at every step; 
and there is no Arithmetic extant that contains 
the number of problems, to leave out entirely the 
practical side of the question, that such a study 
would bring to the pupils.* The study of number 
is inherent in the study of all the central subjects. 
Observations necessary to gain a knowledge of dis- 
tances, areas, volumes, are numberless. They 'are 
right in the line of the child's mental activities. 
They are intrinsic to the subjects themselves, and 
inherent in the child's tendencies. 

Although form and size constitute the foundation 
of all search for truth, we must add here the knowl- 
edge of another great property of matter, and 
that is, iveiglit, the measure of gravitation, and 
the examination into its laws. Just as a child 
begins his inquiries with size he begins his ex- 
perience with weights. The weight of his own 
body, the weight of a cart he draws, the weight of 

*Tlie sequence of subjects, and their relation to each 
other, should be determined by the necessities of knowl- 
edge, and not by any arbitrary scheme. 

Number — Relation to the Central Subjects. 73 

the doll, the weight of the knife and fork, all his 
lifting and carrying, are the beginnings of the 
after knowledge of exact weights. The child 
begins instinctively to weigh, and to compare 
weights; to compare the weight of one doll with 
another, or the kitten with the cat, and he also 
makes his own units of weight. He feels the 
weight of a pound, and he compares that weight 
with a lighter and a heavier. This strong, in- 
stinctive tendency to weigh portions of matter is 
a preparation for later accurate weighing or accu- 
rate numbering by weighing. 

One of the fundamental properties of matter is size and weight, 
density. Density, the compactness of atoms or 
particles, is ascertained by weighing, and by com- 
paring weights with volume or size. Thus size and 
weight are closely related. A pound of feathers 
weighs as much as a pound of lead. The difference 
is in the volume or the space occupied by the two 
portions of matter. The knowledge, then, of 
weight and density is an indispensable factor in all 
study of matter. For instance, in the study of 
minerals, density, which is measured by weight 
and comjDarative size, is as important as a knowl- 
edge of form. The weights of different metals, 
comparative weights of soils and of woods, are all 
prominent factors in investigation. 

The principal means of knowing energy or force Measnring forces, 
is to measure it. The child, when he lifts a ball 
to throw it, instinctively measures the distance 
between himself and the target, and as instinct- 
ively measures the force necessary to throw it. 
He automatically measures the distance of his 
steps in walking and running, and in the same 
way determines the force necessary for the proper 

74 • Talks on Pedagogics. 

movement. When lie breaks articles there is a 
vague measuring of force. He builds a little 
mill-wheel in the brook, and this measures in- 
definitely the force of water. These are a few 
illustrations of the vague beginnings of the meas- 
urement of force, which are to grow into higher 
educational value when the means used for meas- 
uring are exact. I refer again to the position 
taken in the conclusion of the talk upon the " Cen- 
tral Subjects of Study/' that all true study is the 
study of invisible energy, and the direction of that 
energy which we call natural law. Number is a 
mode of Judgment by which energy is measured; 
form is a result of peculiar differences in the kind 
of energy acting; size is the extent of that energy; 
weight is but another term for the measurement 
of energy — the energy of gravitation. Thus, you 
see, all these subjects of form, size, weight and 
force are one, or sequences of the same subject. 

Time is known only by accurate judgments of 
the duration of moving objects. All matter is in 
space and moves in time. There can be no meas- 
uring of force without a corresponding measuring 
of the time taken for its action. I need hardly 
refer to the child's measurement of time: the 
morning and the night, the darkness and the day- 
light, breakfast-time and dinner-time, time of going 
to school, time of going to a picnic, time of wait- 
ing for some promised pleasure, time to Christmas, 
time to the Fourth of July. Later come in more 
approximately accurate inferences. The sun, the 
darkness, and finally the dial and the clock, are 
used as measures, each and all exercising either the 
preparation of the mind for numbering, or actually 
numbering in itself. I have already shown the 

Number— Relation to the Central Subjects. 75 

relation of the measuring of time to the measur- 
ing of force and of force to weight, to size, and to 
form. The relation of time to the study of the 
central subjects is inherent in all effective attempts 
to study, but it may best be shown in History. 
History moves on in space through time in great 
parallel lines. Comparative chronology measures 
the evolution of civilization; thus the memory of 
dates and their relation to each other, is an indis- 
pensable factor in understanding History. A date, 
which marks some event or period interesting to 
the pupil, is a symbol which recalls a long series of 
events. Population of cities, countries; 7iumber 
of people who live upon a square mile; the relation 
of the number of inhabitants who occupy one 
country to that of another; are questions in Arith- 
metic which assist in the study of History. 

The natural unit of number is an individual con- 
cept, a concept which the ego discriminates from all 
other concepts. If it corresponds to some ex- 
ternal object, it is inferred that that object is one 
object, and therefore it is discriminated from all 
other objects. The power to limit numbers of 
objects by this natural unit is the foundation of 
the number faculty. The numerical relation of 
single objects and things, which is usually placed 
first in the discussion of number, I take the 
liberty of placing last, on account of the great law 
of all human growth and human progress — neces- 
sity. Distance, area, volume and weight, are 
greater necessities of knowledge than the numeri- 
cal relations of single things; however much, 
these relations have in themselves of value. The 
presentation of single objects in teaching a child 
number, objects which do not in themselves con- 


Single tMngrs. 


Talks on Pedagogics. 


tain any necessity of knowing, do not stimulate 
and arouse mental action by a feeling of necessity. 
You place three sticks and three sticks before a 
child, and he may be led to see six sticks; but he 
Feeling of right, does not feel any great necessity for the informa- 

One necessity, however, does appeal to the child, 
and that is, a knowledge of equivalent values; 
knowledge of the relation of money as an agent of 
purchase. Most of our Arithmetics are filled with 
this one subject of money-equivalents. They form 
the bulk of all the problems in Arithmetic, over- 
stimulating, too often, the sordid nature of the child. 
Arithmetics are filled with percentage, interest, 
banking, etc. This is the so-called practical value 
of Arithmetic, that the child may be able some 
time to make change in a grocery-store. Now it 
is not to be denied that a knowledge of the immense 
ethical value of money, and its purchasing power, 
should be acquired as a great means of education; 
but in spite of all the Arithmetic studied in the 
schools, and the vast amount of time consumed, 
knowledge of money-values is really acquired only 
by the handling of money, by the actual necessity 
presented in commerce, whether it be the buying 
of a stick of candy for a cent, a pound of raisins 
for twenty cents, or a gold mine for a million 
dollars. When money and its relations are taught 
merely from its so-called practical standpoint, with 
the sole end in view, commercial use, it has very 
little educational value. It should be taught from 
a much higher standpoint of civics, in the light of 
its ethical relation to human progress, and it is to 
be hoped that the future Arithmetic will contain 
some problems that bear directly upon the higher 


Selfishness culti 
vated by a pro- 
longed study of 

Number— Relation to the Central Subjects. 77 

and more valuable knowledge, and fewer upon that 
which aims to make a comj)etent clerk or account- 
ant. At the same time it may be said that a 
knowledge of the higher always includes the 
lower. Too much time altogether is given to 
this one thing; if we may take the evidence of 
merchants and bankers, to the effect that a boy 
enters the counting-room after having studied eight 
or ten years continuously money-values, with very 
little practical knowledge of book-keeping and 

I will now group the subjects of number, trying 
in tliis scheme to comprehend all the real subjects 
of number, and also the general relations of these 
subjects to all study. 

First, Lines; second. Areas; third. Volume and 
Bulk; fourth. Force, the measurement of Energy; 
fifth, Time; and sixth. Single Things, including 
Money Values. 

Heretofore, as above stated, the learning of Relation of arith- 
Arithmetic has been made an isolated subject, ™f*^*^ *° *^^ 
learned by itself, and practically applied as spar- 
ingly as possible. Let us consider what science, 
or what subject in itself, can be learned without 
the action of that mode of judgment called num- 
bering; for instance, take the science of Geography. 

Its comprehension demands a knowledge of lengths, „ , 

/ ^ - . I Relation to Geogr- 

areas, heights, etc. ; at every step, the concepts of raphy. 

surface necessitate exact limitations, the compari- 
sons of surfaces with each other, of a political 
division with a whole, or of one country with an- 
other. How many steps can be taken in History 
without continually using the measures of time, 
the exact populations, the number of men in 
armies, etc. ? Illustrations need not be multiplied 

sity of number. 

78 Talks on Pedagogics. 

to show tliat no study can be pursued in itself 
without the continual application of Arithmetical 
FeeUng the neces- Taking into consideration the short time gener- 
ally given to school education, which way is the 
best : Shall the knowledge of number spring from 
a necessity which a child feels, understands, and 
appreciates; or shall he be taught without the spur 
of any inimediate necessity, under the vague idea 
that the tasks may be of use sometime ? Let us 
illustrate this. The child is called upon to learn 
the fact that four and five are nine. Now, Av^hich 
is the better way, — for the child to feel a necessity 
for learning that the dimensions of the box which 
he is making is four inches by five inches, or to 
simply repeat the fact that four and five are nine. 
Grant even that he uses a better device, with ob- 
jects before him, and learns that four objects and 
five objects are nine objects; he feels no necessity 
for knowing that four objects and five objects are 
nine objects, but he does feel a necessity for know- 
ing how to measure lengths of the models which 
he makes in the Sloyd. He must measure in order 
to do exact work. Is it not proved by actual ex- 
perience that a child may learn all the facts inside 
of twenty through the necessity of knowing the 
distances that he must walk, the areas that must 
be studied; by making models, by blackboard work, 
and by drawing ? 
Mere recollection Teaching children numerical figures without 
without judg- their application is merely cultivating the recollec- 
tion of meaningless forms, without any exercise of 
the judgment. There is not the slightest exercise 
of the judgment in simply repeating the fact that 
four and five are nine. A judgment is the essen- 


Number— Relation to the Central Subjects. 79 

tial element of reason, and when a child is actually 
measuring objects he is reasoning. AVhen he is 
learning the figures in the multiplication table he 
is cultivating his verbal memory, to be sure, but 
working even in this at a disadvantage because 
ignoring the laws of necessity, of use, and associa- 
tion, reasoning having nothing whatever to do with 
the process. 

There is besides a far higher consideration in- 
volved, and that is, the cultivation of moral power. 
By no precept can a child be dogmatically taught 
that any act is right in itself, but the right action 
will appeal to his sense of right with overwhelming 
power. If he is making a box ten by twelve by eight f 

inches, he knows and feels intuitively that he must 
know ten by twelve by eight, that he must compare 
the two ends, that he must compare the sides of 
the box with each other, and that he must measure 
exactly. He does not have to look forward to a 
time when he will need number, when it will be of 
use to him when he is a man, and has to exercise the . 
duties of a man in a store or shop; but he knows 
that he must exercise this power upon the spot, 
because it is a present and absolute necessity. 

The plain reason why children do not exercise ^^^'^Jj'^^i^^J^; 
their reasoning powers in studying Arithmetic is study to the study 
because there have been very few subjects taught ?g^^^^*^^°*^^^®''^' 
in school which admit reasoning. The mere formal 
learning of words does not admit any exercise of 
inference or judgment, and hence the forced 
necessity to learn empty forms and dry facts for 
future application. In its infancy, number had lit- 
tle practical use until it occurred to some thought- 
ful mind that there was more than astrology in 
the knowledge of the heavens, and myth was 

8o Talks on Pedagogics. 

raised to the dignity of a science by the practical 
application of mathematics. 

We are to-day face to face with the proposition of 
putting subjects of thought, the sciences, into our 
schools; and therefore this discussion is of profit 
to those who see the relation between the knowl- 
edge of number and the knowledge of matter, or, 
better, the knowledge of natural laws. 

IVhat can be Done with Numbers ? 8i 


We place before us twelv' 

e mai'Ks, 

I I I I I I I I I I I I Investigation as to 

, . , , . , T the nature of 

or a line twelve mclies long, numijers. 

//////////// / 

Whatever the mind can judge of these twelve 
marks or of the twelve inches can be universally 
applied as valid for all the limitations we make by 
the mode of judgment called number. Let us 
proceed with the investigation in the simplest pos- 
sible way, bearing in mind at every step that num- 
bering is a mental act, that there are no numbers 
in reality outside of consciousness and conscious 
activities; that the relation of external forces or 
objects to number is the relation of their action 
upon consciousness, and that the mind alone 

The attention is now called to one number. All All that can be 
that can be done with that number is to divide it, J»J_e ^"h a nnm- 
and the same can be said of any number. We can 
divide the number twelve into a number of equal 
numbers, as: twelve divided by four equals three 

* All numbers are abstract ; they are the products of 
judgment. Numbers may be either applied, ov pure, num- 
bers. When a number is used as a numeral adjective 
limiting things by ones or units, it is applied; when a num- 
ber is not applied or used as a numeral adjective, it i« a 
pure number. 

82 Talks on Pedagogics. 

Division. iours, (12 -^ 4 = 3) ; twelve divided by three equals 

four threes (12 -^ 3 = 4) ; twelve divided by six 
equals two sixes (12 -^ 6 = 2); twelve divided by 
two equals six twos (12 -=-2 = 6). Or, twelve 
inches divided by four inches equals three four- 
inches (12 in. -^ 4 in. = 3) ; twelve inches divided 
by three inches equals four three-inches (12 in. -r- 
3 in. = 4) ; twelve inches divided by six inches 
equals two six-inches (12 in. -f- 6 in. = 2); twelve 
inches divided by two inches equals six two-inches 
(12 in. -=- 2 in. = 6). By these sentences we ask 
how many fours are there in twelve; how many 
threes are there in twelve; how many sixes are 
there in twelve; how many twos are there in 
twelve; how many four-inches are there in twelve 
inches; how many three-inches are there in twelve 
inches; how many six-inches are there in twelve 
inches; and how many two-inches are there in 
twelve inches ? For instance, twelve inches divided 
by four inches equals three, which means that there 
are three four-inches in twelve inches. This process 
is the division of a number into equal numbers. 
Division of a nnm- A number can be divided into equal parts. It 
''!L!f*° ^^^^ ^^ necessary very often to find the value of one 
equal part of a number, or the number in one 
part. This is an entirely different operation 
from finding the equal numbers in a number. 
In finding the equal numbers in a number, we 
must know the number to be divided into equal 
numbers, and we must know one of the equal 
numbers into which the number is to be divided, 
and we find the number of equal numbers in the 
number to be divided. We divide twelve into 
equal parts in order to find the number in one 
part. We divide twelve into four equal parts, 


IVJmt can be Done with Numbers ? 8^ 

and we find the number in one part is three, 
or three ones. We write: one fourth of twelve 
equals three {i of 13 = 3). We divide tv/elve into 
three equal parts, and we find the number in one 
part is four, or four ones. We write : one third of 
twelve is four {^ of 13 = 4). We divide twelve 
into six equal jiarts, and we find the number in 
one part is two, or two ones. We write : one sixth 
of twelve is two (| of 13 = 3). We divide twelve 
into two equal parts, and we find the number in one 
part is six, or six ones. We write: one-half of 
twelve is six (| of 13 = 6). 

Dividing a number into equal numbers and di- I'if Terence be- 
viding a number into equal parts are two mate- ^^^^^^r il't wai 
rially different processes, with different operations numbers and di- 
and different answers. For instance, twelve apples J^t^^^^a^^tl 
divided by four apples equals three fours of apples 
(13 apples -f- 4 apples = 3). One fourth of twelve 
apples equals three apples (i of twelve apples = 3 
apples). In dividing a number into equal num- 
bers, the quotient is equal in value to the dividend ; 
in dividing a number into equal parts, the quotient 
is an equal part of the dividend. It is of exceed- Great importance 
ing importance, as will hereafter be seen, i^rdtH^^^^^^^^''^. 
these two mental operations are kept distinct. 

We can divide a number into two numbers, 
equal or unequal, when we know one of the num- 
bers. We can divide twelve into seven and another 
number. The Arithmetical sentence is, 13 — 7 = Subtraction, 

5. We can divide twelve inches into three inches 
and another number of inches. We write, 13 
in. — 3 in. = 9 in. The mental operation is the 
division of twelve inches into three inches and 
nine inches. 

All that can be done with a number is to divide 


Three kinds of 

What can he done 
with numbers ? 

Numbers can fee 

Definitions of the 
five operations. 

it, and we can say that there are three different 
kinds of division stated : 

Dividing a number into equal numbers in order 
to find the miraber of equal numbers. 

Dividing a number into equal parts in order to 
find the number in one of the parts. 

Dividing a number into two numbers in order to 
find the value of one of the numbers. 

We cannot fix too firmly in the mind that all 
that can be done with any one number is to divide 
it, and that there are three cases of division. 

All that can be done with a number of numbers 
can be stated in one simple sentence. Numbers 
may be united, or, in other words, a number of 
numbers can be thought as a unit; "united into 
one sum or amount," is tautology. A number of 
equal numbers may be united, as' three fours 
are twelve, four threes are twelve, two sixes are 
twelve, and six twos are twelve. A number of 
numbers, equal or unequal, may be united, as: 
5 + 4 + 3 = 12. We make the general statement 
again, that all tliat can be done with a number 
is to divide it into equal numbers, into equal parts, 
or into numbers equal or unequal. All that can 
be done with a number of numbers is to unite 
them. Equal numbers may be united, and num- 
bers equal or unequal may be united. 

The student is earnestly invited to criticise with 
great care and closeness the following definitions 
of the five operations in numbej' : 

Division is dividing a number into a number of 
equal numbers. 

Partition is dividing a number into a number of 
equal parts in order to find the number in one part. 

iP'hat can be Done with Numbers ? 85 

Subtraction is dividing a number into two num- 
bers, one of which is known. 

Multiplying is uniting a number of equal num- 

Addition is uniting a number of numbers, either 
equal or unequal. 

Considerable repetition may be necessary in 
order to make these very simple definitions plain 
and explicit.* 

Divismi is dividing a nmnher into a number 0/ Definition of divi« 
equal numbers. sion iuustrated. 


A dividend in division is the number to be di- 
vided into a numbei' of equal numbers. 

A divisor in division is any one of the equal 
numbers into which the dividend is to be divided. 

The quotient in division is the number of equal 
numbers into which the dividend is divided. (The 
quotient, or number of equal numbers into which 
the dividend is divided, is equal to the dividend.) 

The Arithmetical sentence is as follows : 12 -r- 
4 = 3; three is a numeral adjective limiting 
four, and means three fours. Thus, in division, 
the quotient must be equal to the dividend, as the 
quotient is the number of equal numbers into 
which the dividend is divided. Ask the ques- 
tion. How many three-cents are there in twelve 
cents ? and the answer is. Four three-cents. The 
arithmetical sentence is, 12c. -^ 3c. = 4, and the 

* "Division is dividing" may perhaps be called a defini- 
tion which does not define. If tliere is another and better 
word than "dividing," I have failed to find it. " Separat- 
ing" means "apart in space." Conscious activities are 
non-spacial. Dividing is the best word, and must be used 
in spite of the criticism that it is tautological. 

86 Talks on Pedagogics. 

four means four three-cents. 12 in. -=- 3 in. = 4, 
or, in other words, there are four three-inches in 
twelve inches. Again, we ask the question. How 
many two-pints are tliere in twelve pints ? Arith- 
metical sentence, 12 pts. -^ 2 pts. = 6. The answer 
is, six two-pints, or six. quarts. How many one- 
fourths are there in one half ? Arithmetical sen- 
tence, 1^ -=- :f = 2. The answer means there are 
two one-fourths in one half. How many two- 
thousandths are there in twelve thousandths ? 
Arithmetical sentence is, .012 ~ .002 = 6. The 
answer is, six two-thousandths. The value of the 
quotient is known by making it the numeral ad- 
jective limiting the divisor. Six limits two-thou- 
sandths. (Otherwise the quotient has no value.) * 

* In order to use the sentence, 12 -=- 4 = 3, with two 
meanings, — one that twelve divided by four is three fours, 
the other that twelve divided by four is three ones, — it was 
found necessary to call the quotient in the first case an 
abstract number, meaning (in this case) three times. What 
does three times mean ? If it means three fours, the idiom 
is plain, but it is asserted that three times means three times 
and nothing else. 12 apples -e- 4 apples = 3 times. If 12 
-^4 = 3 times, then 3 times = 12 -^ 4. 100 -^ 33i- = 3 
times, ergo 3 times = 100 -^ ^o\. Therefore, 100 -f- 33^ 
= 12 -f- 4. It follows that three as a quotient always has 
the same value. 3 times four, or three 4's, are 12. 3 times 
33i are 100. 3 times 4 does not equal 3 times 33^, yet the 
reverse, it is said, is true; that is, $13 -^ |4 =: $10(3 -r- $33^. 

We have the sentences : 

(1) 7 + 5 = 13. 

(2) 12 = 7 + 5. 

(3) 13 - 7 = 5. 

(4) 5 == 12 - 7. 

(5) J of 12 = 4. 

(6) 4 = i of 13. 

(7) 13-^4 = 3 4's. 

(8) 3 4's = 12. 

(9) 13 -- 4 = 3 times. 
(10) 3 times = 13 -^ 4 ! ! ! 

The first eight sentences are perfectly plain and simple; 
every child can understand them. 

IVhiit can be Done with Numbers ? 87 

There is a secoud case or kind of division wliicli Partition, 

may be called partition, or, as the Germans call it, 
Teilen, and, as has already been said, must be kept 
entirely distinct in thought from the process of 
dividing a number into equal numbers. Using the 
word partition, then, for this kind of division, the 
definitions may be made as folloAvs: 

Partition is the division of a number into a num- Partition defined. 
ber of equal parts in order to find the number in 
one equal part. 

The dividend in partition is the number to be 
divided into equal parts. 

The divisor in partition is the number of equal 5.^^^^^^.^ j^^ ^j^j_ 
parts into which the dividend is to be divided. tion. 

The quotient in partition is one of the equal 
parts of the dividend. 

For instance, we wish to divide twelve into three 
equal parts. The dividend is twelve, and the di- trated. 
visor is three. Arithmetical sentence : ^ of 13 = 4, 
and must not be confounded with 12 ^ 3 = 4. In 
^ of 12 = 4, four is the value of the number in one 
part into which the twelve is divided. We wish 
to divide twelve apples among three boys. We say 
one boy would have one third of twelve apples. 
One third of twelve apples is four apples (^ of 12 
apples = 4 apples) ; therefore each boy will have 
one third of twelve apples, or four apples. Again, 
we wish to divide one half into three equal parts 
in order to find the value of one part. Arithmeti- 
cal sentence is, ^ of |^ = ^, which means that one • 
half is divided into three equal parts, and the nu- 
merical value of one part is one sixth. Again, we 
wish to divide twelve hundredths into three equal 
parts. Arithmetical sentence: ^ of .12 = .04. 
How many three-hundredths are there in twelve 


Talks oh Pedagogics. 

hundredths, Avritten, .12 -^ .03 = 4, that is, there 
are four three-hundred ths in twelve hundredths. 

Subtraction de- 

Siibtr action is dividing ^ a number into ttvo 

The minuend is a number to be divided into 
two numbers. 

The subtrahend is one of the numbers into which 
the minuend is to be divided. 

The remainder in relation to the subtrahend is 
the other number into which the minuend is to be 


Multiplying is uniting equal numbers. 

The multiplicand is one of the equal numbers 
which are to be united. 

The multiplier is the number of equal numbers 
to be united. 

The product is the equal numbers united. 

Definition of Mnl- 
tipUcation illus- 

3 4's 



To illustrate, three fours equal 12 (3 4's = 12) ; 
four threes equal twelve (4 3's = 12); four three- 
hundredths are twelve hundredths (4 .OS's = .12); 
three one-halves are three halves (3 |^'s = |). The 
word "times'' is not here used, because it is an 
obscure word, and it explaiiis nothing. Three 
fours, for instance, is direct language, it says in 
common idiom exactly what it means. Three 
times four must be very carefully explained to 
pupils, and then it is very easy to misunderstand it, 
as experience proves. 

Addition is smiting numbers, equal or unequal. 
As, 3 apples -f 4 apples -f 5 apples = 12 apples. 

IVhat can be Done with Numbers ? Sg 

f f = A + A + -i% = H- .4 + .3 + .2 


The question for the teacher is, Are these deh- Attention called 
.,.„,,., , J J. n /^ to the truth of the 

nitions periectly simple, exact, and true r Can definitions. 

language be used to express the facts in a plainer 
way ? Are the definitions comprehensive ? That 
is, does each definition include everything that can 
be thought of in the process defined ? Great con- 
fusion has arisen in the teaching of Arithmetic 
with regard to the sentence illustrated by twelve 
divided by three equals four. It is stated in most 
Arithmetics, and indeed all Arithmetics published 
in America up to the time of the publication of the 
Franklin Arithmetic, that this sentence means, at 
one time, four threes (12 -^ 3 = 4 3's); and at 
another time four ones (12 -^3 = 4 I's). That 
is, twelve cents divided by three cents equals, in 
one case, four three-cents; in another case, twelve 
cents divided by three equals four-cents. As most gjionj^ an Arith- 
Arithmetical operations are confined to these two meticai sentence 
Arithmetical sentences, illustrated by twelve di- ^^^ ^ 
vided by three, and one third of twelve, it is of 
immense importance to have a distinct under- 
standing as to what this one sentence really means 
— twelve divided by three (12 -f- 3). Does it mean 
that mathematics is the one exact science, and that 
an exact science must have an exact language, or 
that one sentence should %:^nd for two totally dif- 
ferent things ? Should twelve divided by three 
mean in one case one thing (there are 4 3's in 12), 
and another thing (one third of twelve is four) 
in another case ? The answer is not far to seek. 
In the first place, it should not mean two things, 
and, in the second place, there is no necessity for 
its meaning two things, as another sentence is 

go Talks on Pedagogics. 

always at hand to express the thought. Indeed, 
this sentence has always been, and is, a part of 
Arithmetic, as language. For instance, one third 
of twelve equals four (^ of 13 = 4). 

Let us place these two sentences side by side: 
twelve apples divided by six apples equals two, or 
six twos of apples; one half of twelve apples equals 
six, or six ones of apples, or, plainer, six apples. 
Each of these two sentences has a distinct and 
exact meaning; each one has an entirely different 
meaning from the other, therefore one sentence 
should never be used for the other. An equal part 
of a number has an entirely different meaning from 
the number of equal numbers in a number. To 
illustrate the sentence 12 -4- 3 = 4, we have such 
problems as the following: How many apples at 
three cents apiece can I buy for twelve cents ? 
Problem: 12c. -=- 3c. = 4; therefore I can buy 
four apples. I wish to divide twelve cents equally 
among three boys ; how many can I give each boy ? 
i of 12c. = 4c. In the first case the answer is four 
three-cents; in the second, four cents, only. 
Is the quotient in Most Arithmetics declare that the quotient in 
division an ab- division is abstract. To illustrate: twelve dollars 
divided by six dollars equals two. Twelve dollars 
is a so-called concrete number, but the quotient 
two is not concrete, not two six-dollars, it is ab- 
stract ! Why is the quotient, the two six-dollars, any 
more abstract than the undivided twelve dollars ? 
Reasoning of this sort is at least too abstruse for 
the common understanding; as well as unnecessary, 
when the whole matter is perfectly adjusted and 
can be made perfectly plain to all minds by using 
the two sentences, 12 -^ 4 = 3, and ^ of 12 = 3. 
There is absolutely no need, as has already been 

stract number ? 

IVhat can be Done with Nnmbers? 91 

said, of using one sentence to express two distinct 
meanings. There is no difficnlty in tlie way of a 
common use of these two sentences, and by such 
use the Arithmetic of division and partition 
can be made utterly simple. There are abstruse 
things enough in this world which are natural and 
essential, without the necessity of creating arti- 
ficial mystification. 

How does the mind acquire that mode of judg- We learn to Judge 
ment called numbering ? Tlie answer to this ques- ^^ J^dgmg:. 
tion is very near at hand. We learri to Judge by 
Judging. Number is an exact mode of limiting 
single things, lines, areas, volume, bulk, force, 
time, and commercial values, by units or exact 
standards. Therefore the mind learns to number 
by numbering, that is, by measuring, weighing, 
learning to estimate lines, areas, volume, etc. 
There is no other way by which the Judgment in 
numbering can possibly be exercised, and, indeed, 
no other way necessary. All that can be presented 
to the mind, externally, for its action, consists of 
objects or forms of matter. 

Attention is holding the mind and body in the definition of at- 
attitude of reception, or for efficient action of ex- 
ternal objects. In the efficient exercise of that 
mode of Judgment which is called numbering, at- 
tention plays a very prominent part. The stand- 
ards of number are developed by observation; the 
mind can attend to acts of numbering Just so far 
as these standards are developed and become forces 
or faculties of the mind; Just so far and no farther 
the mind can act in exact measurements of num- 
bers of things, lines, weights, etc. The direct con- 
tact of the mind with numbers of things, and the 
direct action of the mind upon objects in acts of 

Talks on Pedagogics. 

number, matters 
of mere recollec- 

Exercise of judg: 

are absolutely essential to acquiriug 
So-called facts of the power of luimbermg. The acts of the mind in 
recalling numerical facts, for instance, in recalling 
three fours are twelve, four threes are twelve, one 
half of twelve is six, four and three and five are 
twelve, are not acts of numbering, they are merely 
acts of recollection. There is no reasoning in these 
acts, there is no mental power exercised except the 
mere power of recollection. 

Now these facts, it is well known, may be mem- 
orized by the mere repetition of the sentences; 
but it is of the greatest importance that teachers 
should understand that all exercises in the pro- 
cesses of adding, multiplying, dividing, and sub- 
tracting are not in any way acts of numbering, per 
se, or in any case a direct exercise of judgment in 
numbering. It is granted that certain facts, a 
certain power of recollection of numbers, and the 
relations of numbers are an absolute requirement 
in the economy of thought; but at the same time 
it is also just as necessary to know that the mere 
acquisition of knowledge of numerical facts in 
recollection in no way exercises the reasoning 

In what direction is the exercise of judgment in 
numbering developed ? The first answer to this 
question is one usually urged in regard to the de- 
velopment of the race in civilization. The lower 
the grade of development in the human race, the 
less there is known of number. It is said that 
certain savages of low order do not know more 
than three. As the necessity of knowledge in- 
creases, just in that measure numbering power is 

It may not be a valid hypothesis to say that in 

Development of 
number in the 

IVhaf can he Done with Nmnhers ? 93 

the miud of each child numbers are developed pre- 
cisely in the order that they have been in the 
development of the race; still it is something of a 
guide in attempting to answer the question in what 
direction should number be developed in the child. 
The line of development is ajjparent. The natural ^^^ should the 
beginning is one, or the unit; the line of progress numbering: facui- 
is from one to two, three to four, and so on, up the the child ? "^^^ "^ 
scale. The answer to the question, where should 
we begin with every child in numbering, is also 
plain. Begin with the child just .where his num- 
bering 2)ower is found to be. If he understands 
two, teach him three; if three, teach him four. 
Ascertain at first exactly what the child knows of Begin with the 
number, and let this form the germ of all his after- actual knov/iedgfc 
growth. OxE forms the centre of the natural""^^ *'''^^*- 
horizon of number, and this centre is enhanced by 
one or two, and that by one or more, and that also 
by one. It is not presumed that this line should 
be rigidly followed. The line of progress is gov- 
erned by the necessities of growth, and whenever 
and wherever a child needs to numerically limit 
an object or objects, he should then and there learn 
to know the number necessary for needed exercise 
of his judgment, and to hold that knowledge ready 
for immediate application. 

It is, however, a very important question to what is it to knov,'- 
ascertain what it is to know a number: a number? 


7^he Jcnowledge of numher may he summed up in 
the folloiuing general statements of facts to he 
acquired : 

First, all the equal numbers in a number. 


What numerical 
facts should he 
known automati- 
cally ? 

Second, all the equal numbers tliat united make 
a number. 

These two facts are correlative, and one cannot 
be known without the other. One cannot know 
that there are two twos in four without knowing 
that two twos make four. 

Third, the numerical value of any one of any of 
the equal parts of a number. 

Fourth, the division of a number into any two 

Fifth, the union of any two numbers. 
■ A practical knowledge of number is compre- 
hended in these five general statements. There 
is, however, one question still to be answered, 
and that is. What facts should be known auto- 
matically ? Automatic knowledge is that knowl- 
edge which requires the least effort of the will 
in recollection; is that knowledge which approxi- 
mates the spontaneous action of the mind. In 
other words, automatic knowledge is a habit of 
knowing, so fixed that the least possible effort is 
required in order to recall it. Now, it is not 
to be supposed that the five operations above 
mentioned should be automatically known to 
an unlimited extent. One should be able to 
ascertain any fact by numerical processes in the 
five operations. It can lead to an overburden- 
ing of the mind to endeavor to make much of 
this knowledge above stated automatic; but cer- 
tain numerical facts should be absolutely auto- 
matic. Automatic knowledge in the principal 
directions means the freedom to act; means the 
least possible time, the least possible effort; it 
means also no obstructions in the way of quick 
and exact action of the mind, Therefore, the 

IV bat can be Done with Numbers ? 95 

question of what numerical facts sliould be made 
automatic is one of the first importance. Custom 
has fixed, to a great extent, the demand for these 
facts. There should be a less comprehSnsive limi- 
tation made. For instance, the knowledge of the 
equal numbers that make the number one hun- 
dred, inclusive, is absolutely sufficient for the most 
rapid calculation in that direction. The union of 
the numbers expressed by the nine digits is suf- 
ficient for addition; the division of a number 
into two numbers not exceeding twenty is suf- 
ficient for subtraction. Custom has made one 
hundred forty-four the limit in division, multipli- 
cation, and partition, so that the statement of the 
automatic power in numbering can be made as 
follows : 

First, all the numbers of equal liumbers in each Numerical facto 
and every number up to one hundred forty-four, *^** should be 
inclusive, with twelve for the highest equal num- caiiy, classified, 
ber, would cover the automatic knowledge for mul- 
tiplication and division. 

Second, the number in each and every part of 
any number up to, and including, one hundred 
forty-four, with twelve for the greatest number 
of equal parts, is sufficient for partition. 

Third, the uniting of any tv/o numbers repre- 
sented by digits is sufficient for addition. 

Fourth, the division of a number into any two 
numbers, up to twenty inclusive, is sufficient for 

The prevailing method of teaching number is How should auto-- 
the acquisition of the facts above stated, without matic knowledge 
any relation to number itself; but, notwithstanding " ^'^^^^^ • 
this criticism, the acquisition of automatic knowl- 
edge is of immense importance. At the same time. 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Children who 
learn nnmber by 
counting money. 

it must be repeated, that the acquisition of the 
power of number is absolutely dependent upon the 
exercise of the judgment in numbering; that is, 
the application of number to objects, or, speaking 
more psychologically, to the development of indi- 
vidual concepts. There are two ways of gaining 
these facts: one is by verbal acts of memoriz- 
ing, and the other is by acts of numbering. In 
the one case, as has already been said, the direc- 
tion of the mind so far as the exercise of judgment 
is concerned, is left to accident; in the other case 
the conditions presented are such that the mind is 
continually judging. That is, the nature of the 
mental act determines the emotion or feeling 
aroused by the act, and the necessity of the action. 
In the mere exercise of the verbal memory there 
is no demand for reasoning power and no feeling 
of any necessity for numbering, exce]3t the mere 
will of the teacher. 

It is at this point that the question of economy 
comes in as a very important factor. It was 
found that children of Italian parents, in Boston, 
v/hose business it was to sell fruit upon the 
streets, knew numbers up to eighteen, twenty, 
and twenty-five, readily, when they entered school 
at six years of age. The reason is apparent : they 
had simply, by the necessity of the exercise of 
judging money values, acquired this knowledge 
rapidly and completely. This fact, one amoni;- 
the many which could be cited, points to the 
true method of teaching number. Present the 
necessity for acts of numbering, and the facts 
will be acquired. How much drill is necessary 
in number? The old question, like Banquo's 
will "not down," reason, common-sense. 

delation of num- 

IVhat can he Done wit}) Numbers ? 97 

and experience to tlie contrary. Let it be said I 
then, that just so much drill is necessary as will I 
render the facts above given automatic. The less 
the mind is exercised in actual acts of numlering,')^^ 
the more drill necessary. On the other handjbertodriu. 
the more the mind is exercised in numbering, the' . 
less drill is necessary, — the equation is apparent; 
the more reasoning, the less mere memorizing of 

Two reforms in number that have been instituted 
in English-speaking schools in this century consist, 
first, in the use of objects in teaching number, and, 
second, in the immediate organic relation of the five 
operations to each other. When the facts of figures 
are merely memorized, the more distinct from each 
other, and the more isolated, the better. Num- 
bers have intrinsically perfect relations to each 
other, one fact cannot be known without its corre- 
lative; but in the mere memorizing of words and 
sentences operations have absolutely no relation to 
each other, and to teach them together would lead 
to confusion and weakness. To a child who does jg^^j^j^^ ^^g 
not feel the necessity of knowing the fact that five operations 
three fours are twelve, and at the same time, that *°^^* ^^' 
there are three fours in twelve, the facts in his 
mind have no relation really, and should not be 
learned together. When his attention is put upon 
objects themselves, when he is numbering, measur- 
ing, or weighing objects, he cannot learn one with- 
out knowing the other, and a failure of the teacher 
to relate the facts is simply to fail in knowing 
either. To know that seven and five are twelve, 
and not to know that twelve less five are seven, 
and twelve less seven are five, is impossible to a 
mind that is learning number itself, but to the 

9^ Talks on Pedagogics. 

mind that is simply trying to recall words in 
themselves, these facts are not related. When 
numbers are learned — numbers, not figures — all 
the five operations are essentially related to each 
other, and each kind of fact should be associated 
with the knowledge of the other correlated facts. 
This can be readily seen by the analysis of the 
number twelve: 

I I I I I I I I I I I I 

Now, in order to test this, please tell me what 
lUustrations of ' • + i i mi i • 

tiie relation of the you can see m twelve marks, ihe conclusion 
five operations, y^^^ must make is, that you know every one of the 
five operations in knowing twelve, and that these 
five operations are intrinsically related. You say 
there are three fours i7i twelve, also that two sixes 
are twelve, that one half of twelve is six, that 
twelve less six is six, and that six and six are 
twelve, or two sixes are twelve. You grant with- 
out question that the five operations are intrinsi- 
cally related. When we look at numbers per se, 
the light is full and distinct, and the conclusion is 

The five operations in learning numbers must be 
acquired together; in fact, it can almost be said 
that they can be learned in no other way, and 
that the artificial distinction used in the Arith- 
metic pertains entirely to mere memorizing of 
numerical facts, without the least exercise of 
reasoning. The five operations should be taught 
together, not only from one to twenty, but from 
twenty to one hundred, and all through the devel- 
opment of Arithmetic. In the common teaching 
pf Arithmetic very much is made of notation and 

IVlMt can he Done with Numbers ? 


numeration, and the economical processes of find- 
ing results in numbers too great for automatic 
knowledge. For instance, the process of writing 
numbers, reading numbers, of adding, multijDlying, 
dividing, large numbers are all economical processes. 
The Arabic system of notation and numeration 
is the basis of the great economy in numbers; 
it is therefore of great importance to study the 
history of the evolution of notation and number- 
ing. It is also very well to note the uneconomical 
processes that were used for ages, notably the 
Koman system of numbers. 

The question for us to answer here is, When 
should notation and numeration and all these 
operations be taught? What is the pedagogical 
line of development of these processes? Out of 
the foregoing these questions can be easily an- 
swered. When should a child write numbers ? 
When there is a necessity for him to use the num- 
ber in expressing his thought. When should he 
write the different forms of the different figures 
and signs? For instance, when should he write 
fractions ? When he has occasion to use fractions. 
From the first, when he learns to read one-half and 
one-fourth in words, he should learn them at the 
same time in figures, and they should mean the 
same thing to him. When should he use deci- 
mals ? When he is taught ten. He should always 
write one tenth in decimals, and the same can be 
said of all the decimal notation. When should he 
add large numbers, and go through the process of 
borrowing in subtraction ? He should learn these 
operations when he uses numbers demanding such 
processes. The wonders of the Arabic decimal 
system should be open to him when the necessity 

Wotation and 




ment of subjects 
in text-books, 

loo Talks on Pedagogics. 

requires. One answer is valid for all these ques- 
tions. When should he multiply a number greater 
than twelve, or divide by the process of long 
necessities of men- (^[^yjgJQ^ v When such economy of mind is neces- 
mine what should sary. The habit of knowing the processes should 
he taught. come with the doing. Bring the child face to face 

with absolute necessity in his thought and action, 
and difficulties are easily overcome. If great stress 
is laid upon the exactness and skill in these pro- 
cesses, they may be easily cultivated when the 
necessities arise. 
lUogicai arrange- We have but to take up a Common School Arith- 
metic in order to ascertain the usual arrangement 
of subjects, that has prevailed for a century or two. 
First, we have the four operations of Addition, 
Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division. Addi- 
tion first, presumably because it is easiest; but 
that form of addition called multiplication is much 
easier, and division is simply the correlative of 
multiplication. Then follows, with a little varia- 
tion in different books, the subjects of fractions, 
decimal fractions, compound num.bers, percentage, 
interest, partnership, proportion, square root, cube 
root, etc. 

It will be granted by all that a course of study 
should be an adaptation of conditions to the 
development of the mind, and that the enhance- 
ftient of conditions should keep pace with the 
stages of the development of the mind. The so- 
called' logical arrangement of subjects has been a 
fixed matter of tradition and is deeply rooted in 
custom. It remains for us to examine anew this 
arrangement, and to question, if it is necessary to 
divide up the subjects of Arithmetic iii this way, 
to have one subject succeed the bther, and in each 

IVhat can be Done with Numbers ? loi 

subject to have new terms and new definitions, new 
rules, and new mysteries? 

The intrinsic relation of the five operations has Complex forms ; 
already been discussed; also the necessity of ac-*^°^'*^^°'^°^*^''™** 
quiring skill in economical numerical processes 
has been explained. Of all confusion, worst con- 
founded, we can take the subject of fractions as 
the climax. The difficulty of fractions does not . 
consist in the exercise of the numbering faculty, 
but in the use of complex forms, rules, and defini- 
tions. It can be said, in a word, that fractions 
should be learned precisely like whole numbers. 
The only difficulty in fractions, a difficulty which 
is more artificial than real, is the identity of the 
fractional unit. Thus f | -^ yg presents no greater 
difficulty than 12 -^ 3. In studying lines — for 
instance, in studying the foot — we have, twelve 
inches are three four-inches, or four three-inches, 
one half of twelve inches, one fourth of twelve 
inches, one sixth of twelve inches, etc. A child can 
readily see that one half of twelve inches is six, one 
fourth of twelve inches is three, and three fourths 
of twelve inches are nine — and the foundation of 
the fractional unit is laid. In other words, it is Fractions should 
perfectly easy to teach all there is in fractions in ** taught at every 
the development of numbers, step by step, from 
two upward. 

The putting off of the teaching of fractions 
to the Fifth and Sixth Grades is simply jiutting 
in abeyance an essential means of developing 
the mind. The child, when he reaches the Fifth 
Grade, may know all there is to be known of 
fractions with the greatest ease, if fractions are 
really taught, — not the mere notation and numer- 
ation of fractions. Therefore we must conclude 

Talks on Pedagogics. 

that fractions, as in the usual arrangement of 
Arithmetic, coming after the four operations, is 
illogical, unpedagogical, and wrong. Fractions 
should be taught from first to last, and the same 
Decimal Fractions, can he said in regard to decimal fractions. Decimal 
fractious in notation have a great advantage over 
common fractions. Decimal fractions are perfectly 
easy and should he taught when ten is taught, and 
the notation of decimal fractions should always be 
learned and used when required in the development 
of number. Many pupils, after they have passed 
through a High School, and are asked to divide 
eight tenths by two tenths, put down four and do 
not know what it means. That is, they do not 
know that there are four two-tenths in eight tenths. 
This ignorance is due to the fact that the proper 
work is not done at the proper time. 

All there is to be known of U. S. Money can be 
taught to a child inside of the number one hundred. 
I know the claim will be made that the difficulties 
of multiplication and division of fractions are so 
great that they should be taught as one subject. 
This is certainly true if the pupil is plunged head- 
long into the mysteries of decimal notation with- 
out any previous steps, but to develop the notation 
along with the development of the number there 
are really no difficulties, — no more difficulty in 
knowing two tenths than in knowing two, the 
whole number. 

Then we come to the matter of Compound 
Numbers: addition, subtraction, multiplication, 
and division of Denominate Numbers. It seems 
almost sufficient to ask the question of any intelli- 
gent person. Why should not all tables and pro- 

U. S. Money. 

Compoond ITmn 

IVhat can be Done with Numbers ? 103 

cesses of denominate numbers be taught when the 
number is developed ? Why should not two pints 
be taught, or three feet, or twelve inches, or six- 
teen ounces, right along in the development of 
number? Why should not all the operations of 
compound numbers come in with the five opera- 
tions ? Is there any reason why a child should 
not use lines, weights, values, etc., from the first ? 
Is there any reason in putting off this essential 
knowledge until the Seventh Grade in the school ? 
If a child is adding, why may he not add pounds ? 
If he is dividing, why not miles or yards ? If he 
is multiplying, why not dollars, pounds, or inches 
just as well ? It would be very difficult to answer 
these questions in the negative. The logical place 
of compound numbers is in the normal develop- 
ment of number, and nowhere else; and all the 
necessary tables should be learned there. We Practical subjects 
have great complaint that children go out of ^^jj^g^g'^^g^^^jji^^ 
school, after four or five years of study, without 
any knowledge of Arithmetic, and the cause for 
this is that these subjects are out of their peda- 
gogical relation. They have an artificial, illogical 
place in the course. Tradition has taught us to 
put off these things until a certain time comes, — 
a time when one half of the children of the United 
States are out of school. The gemtine demands 
for a child's groioth aliuays include the best for 
practical life at all times. 

We now come to the subject of Percentage, or Percentage, 

the decimal fractions of hundreds. With little 
thought here, we can refer all the per cents, or 
the division of hundreds into equal parts, to the 
teaching of one hundred. As has already been 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

shown, the child can learn a decimal just as soon 
as he learns ten, and that growth in the knowl- 
edge of decimals can be continued in all the five 
operations to one hundred, and when the child 
learns one hundred he can learn all that there is 
to percentage. Percentage is merely the practical 
application of decimal fractions, and the same 
answer can be made to the question of Interest. 

Of all subjects, within a few years, the subject of 
interest has been made the most mysterious, com- 
plex, and most confusing; still, the subject of 
interest in itself is perfectly simple and easy. 
Bookmakers have crowded their terms of rate per 
cent, base, etc., upon us; and when the pupils 
come to it they suppose that they are coming to 
a brand-new subject, when the fact is, if the sub- 
ject of number has been developed, there is noth- 
ing essentially new to learn in interest. For 
instance, the subject of money earning money, 
when a child knows six or twelve. The formula 
can be: if a dollar earns one cent in one day, in 
six days it earns six cents, or in twelve days 
twelve cents. Or, if interest is related to per- 
centage, then interest is a means of teaching ]3er- 
centage, and should be taugljt when one hundred 
is taught. 

The matter of Proportion, or comparison of 
numbers, is a matter that should enter, into the 
warp -and woof of all arithmetic teaching. The 
relations, as well as the values of numbers, con- 
sist in comparison, — comparison of lengths, areas, 
volumes, weights, force, and time. The form of a 
ratio and the form of the relation of ratios may be 
used when the child understands that | of 4 = |- 
of 8. 

IVhat can be Done with Numbers ? 105 

Then we come to those great subjects that were Square root 

so difficult in our youth. When should a child 
know square root ? When should he know the 
square of a number ? When he knows a number 
that can be squared, or of which the square root 
can be found, he should know them. When he 
knows four, he should know the square root of 
four. When he studies a square area, he should 
know its square root. He should know the square 
of three, and the square root of nine. The knowl- 
edge of the one is the knowledge of the other. 
Precisely the same thing can be said of cube root. 
When he knov;s eight, he should know that two is 
the cube root of eight. He can discover for him- 
self the cube roots and the cubes with the neces- 
sary objects in studying volume. But it maiy be Cuberoat. 
said that the processes of finding roots are diffi- 
cult : they are difficult because there has been no 
leading u]j to the final processes. If the child 
works up to them, and knows what cube, square, 
and root are, when he comes to the higher ^ro- 
cesses the difficulties will vanish. 

The present arrangement of subjects in Arith- 
metic is decidedly unpedagogical; and when we 
consider, again, that the subject of Arithmetic 
takes at least, to. put it within bounds, one third 
of all the time spent in school, and that one third 
of the millions spent for children is put into Arith- 
metic, it is for us, as teachers, to reconsider the 
whole subject. 

I have endeavored to show how illogically these 
subjects are arranged, and that the beautiful sub- 
ject of mathematics, the subject that is essential 
to all human growth and all human thought, is an 

to6 Talks on Pedagogics. 

inheritance of mj-stery, and tlie piling of mystery 
upon mystery lias made a dark and dead wall in 
the way of education. It is an imperative duty 
of every teacher to reconsider this whole subject, 
to study the essentials of Arithmetic aueW;, and 
to apply them. 


Attention. 107 



Attention may be partially defined as a mental Tentatively de- 
process immediately caused by the action of the fined. 
attributes of external objects. This definition 
needs for its explanation a brief resume of the 

psychology of the relation of external obiects to 

i..i,. 1, ,. ... . .'^ Relation of exter- 

subjects of thought or activities of consciousness, nai energies to the 

The first question to be considered is, What are ™"^^* 

external attributes? 

Light is a mode of motion, differentiated into 
external colors. An external color, shade, or tint 
consists of waves of ether of a definite shape and 
a definite rate of motion. A wave of color 
touches the end organ of sight, the retina of the 
eye, and arouses in the brain its corresponding 
elementary activity. External sound is a mode of Sound. 

motion, or specialized energy, modified by the 
matter through which it acts. It consists of vi- 
brations of air of different forms, particular shapes, 
and degrees or rates of motion. The special ex- 
ternal energy which produces an elementary idea 
of sound touches the end organs of sound, and 
arouses a certain definite conscious activity, which, 
we infer, corresponds to the external activity or 
attribute which created it. 

All external attributes which definitely affect 
consciousness are simple energies acting through 
differentiated qualities of matter. The quality of 
the matter, we infer, determines the quality of the 

Elementary idea. 

io8 Talks on Pedagogics. 

energy which acts through it, and, in turn, the 
quality of the energy changes the quality of the 
matter. That which is known of the nature of 
external colors and sounds may be inferred of 
^^tes. touch, taste, and smell. Whatever matter may be 

in itself as a whole or in its differentiated qualities, 
all that we know of it depends utterly upon the 
effects of energy acting through it upon conscious- 
ness. Thus we infer that a certain attribute is an 
energy acting through a certain definite quality of 
matter. We say that that wall is yellow. The 
basis of the judgment is an act of consciousness, 
induced by the repeated action of that particular 
external attribute or energy we call yellow. We 
know little of the nature of that which differen- 
tiates light into this special external color. So far 
as the human judgment is concerned, all exter- 
nality consists of simple energies or attributes, 
acting through matter, and by the action of these 
attributes upon the mind we are able to infer the 
nature of the external attributes themselves, and 
the qualities of matter through which they act. 
Correspondence to An attribute is a simple energy acting through 
an attribute. ^^ quality of matter. Attributes create or develop 

by repeated action their correspondences in the 
mind. The correspondence in the mind to an 
attribute, or that which an attribute creates in the 
mind, may be properly called an elementary idea. 
An elementary idea, I repeat, is created in the 
mind by the repeated action of a definite external 
attribute. It is the simplest form of mental 
energy. An object, then, in its relation to the mind 
is a unity of attributes, or energies, acting through 
differentiated qualities of matter. 

The brain is an organism created and developed 

Attention. 109 

for the differentiation, reception, and action of The train deter- 
external energies. If we accept the hypothesis of ^JJ^^^^^yac?^^^ 
evolution, the nervous tracts and the great central through it. 
ganglion, the brain, are themselves products of* 
external energies acting through countless genera- 
tions of successive human organisms. 

Although the theory of specialized functions of 
the brain is in great doubt, still the fact must be speciaUzed fane- 
admitted that the brain, either as a whole or jjy ^ons of the hram, 
means of its sub-organisms, differentiates, receives, 
and retains elementary ideas created by exter- 
nal energies. Without the initial action of ex- 
ternal energies there can be no conscious life. In 
other words, all activities of consciousness depend 
fundamentally upon the action of external attri- 

To illustrate : Given a complete nervous tract Action of attri- 
for the transmission of the vibration of waves of ^ ^^' 
light, and a complete brain organism upon which 
external colors may act, still without the action of 
these external colors there can be no consciousness 
corresponding to them. Or, to present this in 
another way, if the brain organism for the recep- 
tion of color is perfect, and the optic nervous 
tract dead, there can never be in consciousness any 
correspondence to color. The same facts may be 
asserted of hearing and of all the other senses. 
Whatever the ego may be, this much is true, that 
the elements of all conscious activities are set in 
motion by external energies, and the unities of 
these psychic elements are known to and acted 
upon by the ego. 

The organism of the brain, with its convolutions. Function of the 
its sub-organisms, its fibres and filaments, and all *^*^* 
the differentiated parts of the sensorium, compre- 

Talks on Pedagogics. 

brain action. 

Cause and effect. 

bending all the nervous tracts and tlie great central 
ganglion, determines exactly the number, kind, 
and nature of the external energies which may 
act upon and through it. 
Mental action and The brain contains the physical bases, the pos- 
sibilities or potentialities of being energized by 
means of certain definite external attributes or 
elementary energies. Every conscious act, or even 
mental act below or above the plane of conscious- 
ness, has a physical basis; in other words, there 
can be no mental action whatever without a corre- 
sponding physical action on the part of the brain. 
The action of the brain, then, is the immediate 
medium by which conscious energy is known to 
the ego. Tlie simplest energy of the mind is the 
elementary idea. Each elementary idea has an 
external cause, and that cause is the repeated action 
of its corresponding external attribute over its 
particular nerve tracts upon the brain. I repeat, 
then, that the number and kind of external energies 
which can act upon or in the brain are determined 
by the sensitiveness of the nerve tracts and the 
quality of the brain itself. There are countless 
attributes of color, sound, taste, smell, and touch, 
of whose effects the most highly developed brain 
can never be conscious, because the physical organ- 
ism is not adequate to their reception^ 

We are informed by good authority that the 
child is born deaf, dumb, and blind; in other 
words, it has little, if any, conscious activity. 
Its brain consists of physical potentialities for 
such activities, but until there is due action of ex- 
ternal attributes in arousing these latent possibili- 
ties there can be no conscious activities. The 
presence iii consciousness of an elementary idea 

The child horn 
deaf, dnmb, and 

Attention. iii 

corresponding to an external attribute determines 
absolutely tlie possibility of tlie possessor's knowl- 
edge of that attribute and the quality of matter 
through which the attribute acts. 

No elementary idea appears alone in conscious- units of element- 
ness. A state of consciousness contains units of ^^^*^^*^- 
elementary ideas which may correspond to exter- 
nal objects or units of attributes. The knowl- 
edge of external attributes as a whole depends 
utterly upon the corresponding unit of elementary 
ideas in the mind. The analysis of an external Analysis of ex- 
object depends entirely upon the analysis of its *^^^^ objects, 
correspondence in consciousness. We have, then, 
on the one hand, the physical organism with 
capabilities of receiving and retaining elementary 
ideas created by external attributes; and on the 
other, the power of the mind to unite these element- 
ary ideas into wholes, or individual concepts. 

That which is of especial moment to us in Automatic action 
discussing attention is the fact that all the e^o of external ob- 
has to do in the processes of the creation of ele- 
mentary ideas and their unification into individual 
concepts, is to present jji-oper physical and mental 
conditions for external and internal action. The 
ego cannot originally create an elementary idea, 
nor can it directly combine elementary ideas into 
wholes. This creation and unification is automatic 
and unconscious. It does itself, or, better, it is the 
product of eternal energy. Most of the mistakes 
in the science and art of teaching have arisen from 
the false notion that the ego itself can directly 
create fundamental ideas or individual concepts. 

Verify this fact by some simple investigations or instantaneous ac- 
experiments near at hand. Look at the objects ^'"^ °^ "^ects. 
about you, and name them as rapidly as you can. 

Talks on Pedagogics. 

Synthesis, associ- 
ation, unification, 
recollection, the 
same mental act. 

Analysis, com- 
parison, classifi- 

Attitude of the 
fcody and mind in 
sense action. 

Yon say, " I see a house," " I see a flower,'' " I see 
a chimney." Listen, — and yon have the same 
eifect in kind, — " I hear a locomotive," " I hear a 
bird singing." 

Shut your eyes and touch objects : " This is a 
desk," " This is an ink-stand." Theses uccessive 
acts of the mind are the results of objects or cer- 
tain attributes of objects acting upon the mind 
and raising elementary ideas above the plane of 
consciousness. They appear to the ego as wholes 
or units of ideas. The synthesis, association, 
unification, or recollection (terms expressing the 
same mental act) of the ideas is perfectly uncon- 
scious and automatic, so far as the ego is con- 
cerned. The ego is conscious of the results only, 
of the units of elementary ideas. You can analyze, 
compare, classify the results, but you cannot 
directly unite or arrange the ideas. Of individual 
concepts, elementary ideas alone lie below the 
plane of consciousness. Every individual concept 
is dissipated into its constituents when it falls 
below the plane of consciousness. There is no 
difference in the kind of action of an object, 
whether it be the first or any subsequent act; the 
effect of an object is always the union of elementary 
ideas, which repetition has a tendency to accelerate. 

In each and every act of the senses, or the act 
of attributes in creating and energizing element- 
ary ideas, the function of the being or the ego con- 
sists wholly in the attitude of body and mind. 
The rule is: the more receptive the organism, 
the more effectively external and internal energies 
act. Quiescence, or passivity,* describes the best 

* Perfect passivity signifies the greatest power of recep- 

Attention. 113 

condition of the mind for the most complete 

action of the senses, — perhaps inhibition is a InMbitlon. 

better word to describe the state of the being : it 

means that adjustment of body and mind which 

best limits tlie mental action to the most effective 


I call your attention to this psychological fact Errors arising: 
with great earnestness, because many, if not most, f^oinnot ^^^_ 
of our pedagogical errors have their source in conscious process 
the mistaken generalization that unification of "^ ^y^^*^^^^^* 
elementary ideas, or the formation of individual 
concepts, is a direct act of the ego, that the mind 
goes through a conscious process in the unifica- 
tion of elements. The " A, B, C " method, the 
countless phonic and word-building methods, the 
systematic, prescribed, and predestined object-les- 
sons, are all the bad results of ignorance in regard 
to this powerful, persistent, and spontaneous action 
of the mind. 

Conscious activities are pure energies. We 
infer that the brain is the physical basis of these 
activities; we also infer that every conscious act 
has a physical basis. Elementary ideas, for in- 
stance, are created below the plane of conscious- mg^ntaryWeas' 
ness by the action of external attributes, and as 
these elementary ideas, by repeated action of the 
external energies, become stronger, they rise to the 
required degree of activity and, under the right con- 
ditions, appear above the plane of consciousness. 
The elementary activities below the plane of con- 
sciousness never cease in their action so long as 
the corresponding physical power of the brain re- 
mains. They rise above the plane of conscious- 
ness, present themselves in units or individual con- 
cepts, and in turn sink below the plane of con- 

114 Talks on Pedagogics. 

sciousness, dissipated into their elements. All the 
ego has to do in both unification and dissipation is 
to present the most economical bodily and mental 

Recapitulation. To recapitulate: first, attention relates to the 
action of external objects upon consciousness; 
second, the psychological fact common to all ob- 
jects is that the mental effect of an object in con- 
sciousness is its correspondence to the object it- 
self; third, this correspondence or individual con- 
cept consists of elementary ideas automatically 
synthetized; fourth, the elementary ideas of which 
an individual concept is the synthesis or the unit, 
were originally created by the action of external 
attributes upon the brain; fifth, the organism of 
the sensorium determines primarily what attri- 
butes shall act upon it, and consequently what ele- 
mentary ideas shall be there created ; sixth, all 
elementary ideas, or correspondences to external at- 
tributes, appear in consciousness in complex units 
or individual concepts; seventh, conscious activi- 
ties are pure energies, which, we infer, act through 
matter (the brain), but present themselves to the 
ego as pure, non-spacial, non-ponderable, differen- 
tiated energies. 

WMt is an educa- Experience proves that every human being is 
conscious of mental activities during his wak- 
ing hours, from the dawn of consciousness to 
the close of mortal life. Waves or states of con- 
sciousness succeed each other in general with great 
rapidity, and this succession of conscious states 
cannot be prevented by acts of the will. These 
conscious activities consist of units of elementary 
ideas, and the inferences which the ego derives 
from them. Every human being has these states 

tive act ? 

Attention. 115 

of consciousness; nevertheless, comparatively few 
of the human beings born uj^on earth are be- 
coming educated. Waves of consciousness, or a 
prolonged succession of conscious states, induced 
by externality, or by the ego, are not in themselves 
educative. One may have the full use of all his 
senses, the senses rnay be in continual action, one 
may hear language all his life, one may read con- 
tinually, and still never have what may be called 
a genuine educative mental action. An educative 
act always conditions an educative subject and an 
educative self-effort; the act is effective to just the 
degree that self-effort is intense. 

AVhat is intrinsically an educative act ? Self- spontaneous ac- 
activity is the fundamental principle of educa-ti"^ty ^<i"its^se 
.. --I • HIT T T activity, discrim- 

tion — a principle universally believed and gen-^iated. 

erally neglected. It is, however, of vast impor- 
tance that we discriminate with exceeding care 
the exact functions of self-activity and the con- 
ditions which make self-activity jJossible; that we 
in some measure comprehend the physical and 
mental conditions which are the bases of conscious 
energy, and the spontaneous, instinctive move- 
ments and creative power of that energy by means 
of those conditions. In comparison with creative 
power and created results, independent of self, 
self-activity sinks into insignificance. Heredity, 
birth, physical organization, the instinctive sym- 
pathetic acts of body and mind, digestion, breath- 
ing, and sensation, it goes without saying, are not 
the direct products of volition. It is a coifect 
interpretation of an old theological doctrine when 
we affirm that everything is done for man; that 
external power creates and sustains him, gives him 
marvellous powers of body and mind, and is ever 

ii6 Talks on Pedagogics. 

ready to render assistance at every step of 
his development. I say divine assistance, because 
origin and source cannot be discriminated among 
all the mighty energies that create, nourish, and 
sustain an organism of life. One differentiated 
energy cannot be called divine and another ma- 
terial with scientific accuracy. 

" To make such a soul, 
Such a body, and such an earth for inspheiing the whole." 

Notwithstanding all that is done for man, the 
eternal loving power that creates and is ever cre- 
ating him, his individual development is a result 
of self-activity. Education depends upon the use 
the being makes of the conditions in which he 
finds himself the centre. As he uses that which is 
given him and done for him will he be educated. 
The highest economy of self-effort may be attained 
only by a righteous discrimination between that 
which is done for the being and that which the 
being can do for itself. Overstepping the boun- 
daries of self-effort results in weakness rather than 
strength; the overstraining in effort, the fearful 
consciousness of self, the mental entanglement in 
forms of thought expression, are all the outcome 
of misdirected self-effort. Poise, equilibrium, pas- 
sive and receptive attention, mature reflection, ease 
in expression, and consciousness of power spring 
from wisely adjusted self-effort. " Be still, and 
know that I am God." 

The poiver of the will in attention consists in 
tion defined. holding the hody and the mind in the most eco- 
nomical attitude for the 7nost effective and com- 
plete action of external atti'ihutes through nerve 
tracts ujwn consciousness. It consists, first, iu 

An act of atten- 

Attention. 117 

the inhibition of the agents of the body, and not in 
immediate use, or in so co-ordinating them that they 
will best subserve the purpose of the action of exter- 
nal energies, or energies external to consciousness 
itself. It consists, second, in controllingor inhibit- 
ing consciousness so that no other activities shall be 
present except those directly induced and aroused 
by the external objects. How small a part the will 
plays in comparison to that which is actually done! 
How indispensable is the action of the will in induc- 
ing the best conditions for mental activities! The 
danger comes when the ego ignorantly attempts to 
do that which does itself, or is done by immutable 
laws, not controlled but conditioned by the ego. 

The particular or special interest of the ego The ego, 

dominates and controls the body and the mind 
in an act of attention. The principal act of the 
will consists in the stopj)ing, hemming in, o. 
obstructing the onward movements of conscious- 
ness, thereby ijsttensifting conscious activities. 
Let me illustrate this by acts of reflection, gcious intensity 
which are the same as acts of attention, minus illustrated, 
direct external stimuli. You will please think of 
the house in which you were born. Instantly, 
when I say " house in which you were born," there 
comes a mental ima^e, an individual concept, into 
your mind, brought there by my words. Hold 
that image, that individual concept, by an act 
of your will, and what is the result ? The first 
synthetic result is a mental image with dim out- 
lines. It immediately begins to build in element- 
ary ideas of color; forms rise above the plane of 
consciousness and complete the first vague outlines. 
You enter the house, you go from room to room ; 
the floors, the ceilings, the paper, the furniture, 

ii8 Talks on Pedagogics. 

all enhance the individual concept. Associations 
then come in; old experiences, former judgments, 
emotions without number, crowd this picture. 
What have you done? By an act of your will 
you have held this state of consciousness, and in 
holding, the picture has been enhanced, filled up, 
intensified. The longer you hold the central con- 
cept corresponding to the house the more ideas 
will rise, fill, and intensify it ; the act of recol- 
lection is continually enhanced by your mental 
attitude. You do not bring in certain elements, 
Limitations of the ^^^.^^-^ subjects of thought in relation to the cen- 
tral subject — they come in themselves. You cannot 
by an act of the will create an elementary idea — 
you cannot directly recollect, unite, synthetize, as- 
sociate ideas, but you can control the conditions 
necessary to the efi:ectiveness of these acts. 
Hemming states of Attention means stopping the otherwise contin- 
consciousness. ^^^^^g ^q^ ^f conscious states; it means the inhibi- 
tion of all extraneous activities; it means the 
concentration of the will upon certain definite 
conscious activities aroused by the objects, which 
the ego is to know, to analyze, to compare, to 
classify, and to make the basis of all inferences. 
Power of atten- Let me illustrate further: in acts of attention in 
hearing language, the words spoken act upon con- 
sciousness in the exact degree in which the hearer 
holds his mind to the subjects or the thoughts 
aroused by the speaker. Of course this depends very 
much upon former experiences; but the point I have 
to present to you is this, that in hearing, in listening 
to a sermon or an oration, for instance, you hold 
your mind by a direct act of the will, inhibiting 
all foreign conscious activities, confining the activ- 
ities to the results of the spoken language upon 


Attention. 119 

consciousness. You read ; a succession of mental 
pictures, of inferences and judgments, rapidly sue- ;^cts of attention 
ceed each other. Such reading may, or may not, 
be educative; but in an act of attention you limit 
all your activities to the direct effect of the sen- 
tences uijon consciousness. You hold, by an effort 
of the will, ideas, conscious activities aroused by 
written words, and by the very holding the asso- 
ciations already spoken of take place; you have 
clear concepts which give rise to a succession 
of inferences, and are in the highest degree edu- 

At the risk of much repetition, allow me to Definition re- 
again refer to my definition of the conditions of ^^*t^<^' 
attention. I may call them the mental and physi- 
cal conditions of acts of attention. Attetitioii is ' 
holding the whole leing, body and mind, in the \ 
best and most economical attitude for the action of \ 
external attributes or objects upon conscio2cs7iess. \ 
I would call to your mind the first definition I ' 
gave of attention. Attention is a process of men- 
tal or conscious action stimulated, excited, aroused, 
induced, or caused by the attributes of external 
objects upon consciousness. I have already dis- 
cussed the vast influence of the sensorium, in- 
cluding the nervous tracts and the brain, to- 
gether with the creating and stimulating action 
of external objects in and through the brain 
upon consciousness. All education is by self- Education by self- 
activity, and, at the same time, it may be said activity, 
that self-activity is a evidence of human growth 
beyond the threshold of the educative stage; 
that the basis of human development, that is, 
heredity, the physical organism of the body, 
and the spontaneous action of external attri- 

I20 Talks on Pedagogics, 

butes, form the foundation or present the con- 
ditions absolutely necessary for self-activity. For 
instance, the self-activity of attention consists in 
putting the whole being, body and mind, into the 
best possible attitude for the action of external 
energies upon consciousness. While the being it- 
self, and its conditions, the external attributes, are 
by no means the products of present self -activity, 
and in the comparisons of the conditions of en- 
ergy, and the nature of the energies acting upon 
consciousness themselves, both past and present, 
self-activity must assume a minor place; still, at 
every step and every stage of education, the action 
of the will in controlling the organs of the body in 
such a way that the most complete action of con- 
sciousness can take place must be recognized. In 
other words, the whole environment of conscious- 
ness, which consists of the brain, the body, and 
external energies, makes self-activity possible, and 
determines its nature, its kind, and the probabili- 
ties of its continuity. 
Three modes of at- There are three modes of attention or study: 
tention. fl^st, observation ; second, hearing -language ; and 

third, reading. These three modes come under 
the two definitions I have given of attention. 
The first definition is: The action of the attri- 
butes of external objects upon consciousness arouses 
certain definite conscious activities. The second 
definition is: Attention is holding the beitig, body 
and mind, by an act of the will, in the most eco- 
nomical attitude for the action of external attri- 
butes or objects upon consciousness. In other 
Thinking: not in words, attention is educative thinking. Thinking, 
or continuance of conscious action, is not in itself 
educative, it becomes educative only when the con- 

itself educative. 




scions action is intense and the conscious activities 

are immediately needed for development. Each and ^^^h state of con- 

,, » . „ /ir.j 1- sciousness consists 

every state oi consciousness, irom the hrst action of au the kinds of 

of consciousness to the last, in every human being, possible conscious 
contains in itself every kind of possible conscious *"^ 
action. The fundamental action of consciousness 
is synthesis or association. Synthesis, association, 
recollection, remembrance, imagination, are all 
one and the same act in kind; that is, the same 
action takes place and the same laws control the 
action. It is true that an act of synthesis, in which 
are included the other acts I named, may have dif- 
ferent causes. These acts may have direct external 
causes, or may be the products of the action of the 
ego without direct external stimuli. 

The second act of consciousness in which the 
ego is the immediate cause is inference or judg- 
ment. Acts of inference may be classified as acts 
of recognition, analysis, comparison, classification, 
and generalization. Allow me to repeat, then, 
what I consider to be the most important fact in 
all psychology — that each and every act of con- 
sciousness contains in itself every kind and variety 
of acts of which the human being is capable. 
Development consists, then, not in the introduc- 
tion of new kinds of conscious acts, but in the 
continued intensity of all these acts. The in- intensity of con- 
tensity of an act of consciousness means that the ^"""^^ activities, 
contents of the acts are to be continually enhanced , 
by new psychic units, or individual concepts, and 
more vivid elementary ideas, consequently, making 
possible those inferences which approximate the 
truth. Thus, acts of observation, hearing-language, 
and reading are identical in kind of mental action. 

Talks on Pedagogics. 

Educative value 
of an act of obser 

the differences consisting in the differences in ex- 
ternal causes and intensity of effects. 
The three modes of Yon may desire, at this point, definitions of the 
attention defined, three modes of attention, wliich will be consistent 
with the definitions, of attention itself. Observa 
tion consists of mental or conscious activities 
aroused by the continuous action of external 
objects. Since the same definition may be given 
to hearing-language and reading, it i-s necessary 
to make a definition which will differentiate 
observation from the other two modes of atten- 

The educative value of an act of observation 
consists in the individual concept which corre- 
sponds to the object acting upon consciousness. 
Observation is the continuous action of an object 
upon consciousness for the purpose of developing 
and intensifying its corresponding individual con- 
cept. In the mere casual action of objects, through 
the senses, crude, incomplete, and inadequate con- 
cepts are produced; but by the continuous action 
of one object upon consciousness it will be readily 
seen that the concept corresj)onding to the object 
acting is intensifiea — it is filled up, enhanced, made 
to approximate adequacy. This individual concept 
is a direct factor in itself in the development of 
the mind in which it acts; and becomes, through 
the action of observation, more and more a com- 
plete basis for inferences of analysis, comparison, 
classification, and generalization. 

Two great classes of objects act upon the mind. 
One we may call, for the sake of classification, 
non-symbolic objects. A non-symbolic object is 
one whose correspondence may have a direct edu- 
cative value. The other great class of objects 

Individual con- 

Two classes of 

Attention. 123 

consists of symbols. A symbol is an external AsymboL 

object made or invented by man to arouse in 
consciousness certain definite activities. The con- 
scious activities wliicli a symbol aronses or stim- 
ulates we will call in this discussion appropriate ^^^^^^^^^ ^^~ 
activities, in contradistinction to corresponding 
activities, and it is well to make a careful distinc- 
tion between the two. Corresponding activities ^°^^^p°^<^s***^" 
are the activities directly aroused by the object 
itself. The first actiou of any object, whether 
a symbol or non-symbol, is to arouse its corre- 
spondence in consciousness. But the objection 
may be fairly made to this definition of the action 
of objects, that usually an individual concept is the 
product of one set of attributes acting over one 
special nervous tract, that the corresponding ele- 
mentary ideas aroused by these attributes arouse 
others that have formerly been associated in the 
same unit or individual concept, and that there- 
fore the action of all objects is, in reality, sym- symboUc action of 
bolical. There is, however, a distinction between ^ii objects, 
the acts of observation, hearing-language, and 
reading. A symbol has but one function, it was 
made for but one purpose, and that purely a men- 
tal one. A pure symbol is used to arouse in con- 
sciousness certain definite activities, which do not 
correspond to any part of the object itself. The immediate effect 
correspondence to a symbol in itself has no edu- of symbols, 
cative value; or, in other words, the immediate 
effect in consciousness of a pure symbol has no 
organic relation to development, its relation to 
development of educative action consisting entirely 
in the effect of the correspondence in recalling 
appropriate activities. 

Each and every object has one immediate effect 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Effects of words 

Two classes of 
Partial symbols. 

upon the mind, let me repeat, and that is the 
production of its correspondence, which is in itself 
an individual concept. This immediate effect, cor- 
respondence, or individual concept, arouses other 
definite activities which I have called appropriate 
activities. You can test this very easily. I write 
upon the board certain words, for instance : 
" horse ", " cow ", " goose ", " fence ". While I am 
writing you shut your eyes. I say, " Open your 
eyes and tell me the immediate effect of these 
objects, that is, these written words, upon con- 
sciousness." You are able to say immediately, 
"The horse that I thought of was chestnut, or 
white; it was running, or standing stilL" Thus, 
these words, that I have written on the blackboard, 
are immediately functioned. They arouse their 
appropriate activities. But suppose you were not 
acquainted with the language used, and that I 
should write the words " Pferd", " Kuh ", " Gans ", 
" Cavallo ", " Hest ". These objects have the same 
functions as the others, and produce their imme- 
diate effects, but those effects in consciousness do 
not produce effects for which they were made; 
they are consequently not functioned in your 

Oral and written words are objects: they have 
length, breadth, and thickness, and they act upon 
consciousness precisely like any other object ; but 
if these effects do not immediately become causes 
and arouse other definite conscious or appropriate 
activities, they are of no immediate use. 

Symbols may be divided into two classes. One 
class I will call partial symbols. Partial symbols 
consist of pictures, drawings, models, and all 
objects not purely symbolic, which are made to 

Attention. 125 

awaken in consciousness certain definite activities. 
The conscious activities awakened by a partial 
symbol, it will be seen, do not fully correspond to 
the object awakening them. In other words, the 
direct eli'ect of a partial symbol is precisely like 
any other object; but this direct effect arouses 
definite activities, and the effect itself becomes a 
part of those definite activities, a part of the 
individual concept aroused, — thus I call them 
partial. For instance, a picture arouses its corre- 
spondences, and this in turn arouses its ajipro- 
priate activities, and the correspondence to the 
picture sinks, to use a figure of speech, into the 
individual concej)t itself. 

In order to make my meaning clearer, I will at- 
tempt to describe the second great class of symbols, 
which we will term pure symbols. A pure symbol, Pnre symbols, 
like a partial symbol, is an object made to arouse 
certain definite or appropriate activities; but it 
is also an arbitrary invention made to produce 
a certain definite effect in consciousness, which 
in no point corresponds to the cause. A partial 
symbol, for instance a picture, functions itself by 
the same kind of action as a pure symbol. You 
will understand me when I say that a little child 
sees a picture and knows what it is, or a statue 
and knows what it is: that is, the partial symbol 
has an immediate effect, and needs no other con- 
ditions than its presentation or its action upon 
consciousness; but a pure symbol requires the 
presentation of certain definite conditions for its process of func- 
use in consciousness. A pure symbol must there- foiling a symbol, 
fore go through a mental process of functioning. 
This process of functioning, for instance, written 
or printed words, we call teaching reading. In- 


Talks on Pedagogics. 


Reading defined. 

Function of otser- 

deed, the teaching of reading, at every step, from 
beginning to end, consists in presenting condi- 
tions for functioning words. The law under 
which all words are functioned will be carefully 
discussed in the succeeding talks. 

Hearing-language is thinking by means of the 
action of oral words, arranged in sentences. The 
process of hearing-language is a ment.9,1 jarocess 
caused by the action of external objects called 
oral words arranged in sentences. An oral word 
is just as much an object, as I have already said, 
as a written word, a tree, or a mountain. The 
mind does not act upon the word, but the word 
upon the mind; and therefore upon the attitude 
of the being depends the power of hearing-language 
after the words have been functioned. 

Eeading is thinking, or mental activitie aroused 
by the action of v/ritteu or printed words arranged 
in sentences. Precisely the same reflections may 
be made upon reading as upon the action of oral 
language; the conscious activities aroused are the 
same in kind. It is often justly urged that an act 
of hearing-language, or reading, is not in itself an 
act of attention, or does not arise to the dignity of 
an act of attention; but I beg you to bear in mind 
that I am discussing education, and also the fact 
that educative acts consist wholly of intensity of 
mental acts in hearing, and intensity of mental 
acts in reading. Observation is an intense act of 
consciousn'ess. Educative hearing-language is also 
intensity of conscious acts. Study of text is in- 
tense reading. The three modes of attention are 
means of intensifying conscious activities. 

The function of the object itself in an act of ob- 
servation is tQ intensify its corresponding individ- 

Attention. 127 

ual concept; the function of a pure symbol is to 
arouse appropriate activities. The correspondence 
to a pure symbol has no direct educative value. 
In an act of observation the mind is absorbed in 
the diract products of the object in consciousness. 
In the acts of hearing-language or reading the 
mind should be absorbed in the ajspropriate ac- 
tivities, with the least 2)ossihle consciousness of the 
effects of tlie luords. 

The body, with all its j)liysical organs, its ner-'^j^g^^^ anin- 
vous tracts, and great central ganglion, the brain, is strument of atten- 
an instrument for the action of external attributes. *^*"^* 
I have already presented the fact that the organism 
itself determines the nature, the number, and 
kinds of external attributes which may act through 
it, These sense products form the basis of all 
self-activity, and that self-activity has a very promi- 
nent part to play in attention. 

An act of attention may be analyzed as follows- An act of atten= 

(1) The external object or objects consisting of ^°" ^^^y^^*^- 
simple energies which act upon consciousness. 

(2) The physical condition and attitude of the 
body in an act of attention, , 

(3) The conscious activities aroused ; that is, the 
intellectual action in an act of attention, 

(4) The motive of an act of attention. 

By motive I mean that which primarily impels Motive explained, 
the ego to attend continuously. It may not be 
easy to define or analyze motive. The content of 
motive is usually interest heightened by the antici- 
pated pleasure which the being believes will result 
from the act. Every self-act has a motive. This 
motive may have for its content immediate pleas- 
nre or the pleasure of fancying subsequent pleasure. 
Jt is sufficient, however, for our present discussion 

128 Talks on Pedagogics. 

to present clearly this analysis that I have already 
given: external object, physical action, mental 
action, and motive. In the economical act of at- 
tention these three factors immediately succeed 
each other, or, perhaps not so scientifically -stated, 
are simultaneous. In other words, there should he 
perfect unity of action. This fact is illustrated in 
all spontaneous acts of attention. The motive is 
aroused by the object presented, and under that 
motive the act is sustained, the thought stimulates 
emotion, and the body becomes an unobstructed 
medium through which the attributes act. This 
unity of action or effort of the whole being is the 
central educative moment; it is in education a 
supreme act, bringing about the conditions neces- 
sary to a most economical use of the body as an 
instrument for the action of external energies. 
In order to explain this more fully, allow me to 
Physical attitude speak of the physical attitude of attention. The 
of attention. attributes or external energies act through certam 

nerve tracts. The nature of the nerve tracts over 
which the attributes act determines the attributes 
unity of the whole which act through them. In a complete act of 
being in an act of attention, the ego, through the will, controls the 
attention. ^^^^-^^ ^^^^^ . ,j{ extraneous muscular activities are 

inhibited, that is, physical action is limited to the 
reception of certain definite external energies. 
Special nerve tracts are cleared for action. That 
which is true of muscles and nerve tracts, is just 
as true of the brain. We know, or should know, 
from long observation that the body, when it acts 
most effectively, acts as a whole; that although 
one organ or one sense tract may be the centre of 
that action, still the whole body, every organ, 
every muscle, and every nerve, contribute to the one 

Attention. 129 

central action; every organ, every muscle, every 
nerve, concentrate and enhance the one central 
act of attention. Or, to put it in another way, just 
so far as the action of the whole body is inhibited, 
and therefore concentrated upon the one act of 
attention, just so far will the intellectual action be 
enhanced. On the other hand, any part of the 
body, any portion of the muscular system, that does 
not enter into this act of attention weakens the act. 

We are all instinctively students of acts of at- Unity of action 
tention in others, and I think if we will but reflect ^^^^^^''^ted. 
a little upon our own somewhat spontaneous and 
intuitive generalizations, we will come to a com- 
mon conclusion, A speaker watches his audience, 
— it may be an individual, it may be thousands of 
people; he judges whether his words have their 
desired effect or not by the physical attitude of 
those before him. The slightest mark of inatten- Attention in _ 
tion discourages him, and, on the other hand,^^^^^*^ 
signs of attention prompt him to better thought 
and expression. The story-teller's first thought is : 
Are my auditors listening ? He judges by their 
attitude; a movement of the arm, the head, the 
facial expression, in fact the whole body tells him 
whether his words are having their effect or not. 
Artists portray animals in acts of attention ; a 
fawn or rabbit in the act of listening. A critic 
who detects in the attitude of the body any lack 
of coordination or unity in so far argues the fail- 
ure of the artist. In a word, there is a complete 
physical unit of action in a perfect act of attention. 
The organs of the body, the muscles, the nerves, the 
whole sensorium, contribute to the one central act. 
Or, to put it upon the negative side, if the body is 
not in a perfect physical attitude of attention, if 

130 Talks on Pedagogics. 

the arms or legs are not disposed for the best 
action of external stimuli, then the conscious act 
is obstructed. The maximum physical action in 
attention is the concentration of all muscular and 
nervous action to one act. If, then, there is a 
complete normal physical attitude of attention, if 
the blood in its rapid flow through all parts of 
the body enhances the complete act, then educative 
acts of attention have a great influence in develop- 
ing the body, not only developing it in health and 
strength, but enhancing its great function as an 
instrument of attention. 
Motive of Physi- The motive of all physical development should 
cai Training:. j^^ ^^^^ training of the body as a perfect instrument 
of attention and expression, for action and reaction 
upon external objects. The perfect physical at- 
titude of attention is a healthy attitude. What 
has been said of the whole body may be said of the 
brain. As a physical organism, the will has the 
power to inhibit the action of the brain, and to con- 
centrate it upon one conscious state; and further, 
the will has the power to bar out extraneous con- 
• scions activities by hemming in intrinsic conscious 
activities, or by excluding that which is not per- 
tinent to immediate moments of attention. One 
Great importance central point in the tlieory of concentration is 
of Perfect unity ^^^^^ -^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^j attention there shall be perfect 
m acts of atten- ^ 

tion. unity of action. An economical act, an intense 

act, is that perfect unity of action in which every 
part of the body, every fibre of the brain, enhances 
the mental act ; and conversely, any failure to 
inhibit the action of the body or the brain, any 
disconnection or lack of response on the part of 
any agent or sets of agents, renders the central act 
of attention incomplete. 

Attention. 131 

The importance of the unity of the whole being 
in all educative acts cannot be overrated, for the 
reason that unscientific teaching and training may 
permanently break or disconnect this unity, and 
thereby Veaken both body and mind. Let me 
illustrate this in an act of reading. You will 
bear in mind the analysis before given in relation 
to acts of attention: 

(1) External energies. 

(2) Physical action. 

(3) Mental action. 

(4) Motive. 

An act of reading is brought about by the action How unscientific 
of printed words arranged in sentences upon con- stroyThe^^ify "of 
sciousuess. In such acts there must be an impelling action, 
motive, the physical attitude of attention, the 
mental results, and consequently the instantaneous 
action of the forms of the words. The right motive 
should precede every act ; the most economical 
mental acts should take place, superinduced by a 
complete physical attitude of attention. 

Suppose the motive is attention to the forms of The least possible 
the words, then there can be no educative effect, forms oTwords! 
If the motive is brought to bear entirely upon the 
forms of the words, the real motive must be in abey- 
ance; the mental action consists entirely of the 
correspondences to the words themselves, and there 
can be no genuine thought action. The unity of 
the action is broken, and if this systematic teach- 
ing, in which the forms of the words are the end 
and aim of the teacher, continues, the breaking up 
of the unity of action will be effectual, and mental 
weakness in reading and study will be a permanent 
result. The word should perform its fiinction 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Interest overcom- 
ing difficulties. 

The habit of at- 

instantly ; there should be the least possible at- 
tention to the forms of the words. It is possible, 
under the scientific teaching of reading, to absorb 
the mind to such an extent that the action of the 
words becomes unconscious or automatic. Its 
opposite is also possible : the habit may be easily 
cultivated with little children of com|)lete absorj)- 
tion in the forms of words, and anything like clear, 
lucid, enlivening thought prevented. The reason 
why the acquisition of the forms of words is made 
the end and aim of much teaching is that great 
difficulties are seen in the objects themselves, the 
words, and the whole power of the child is put on 
the acquisition of dead forms, with the supposition 
that at some future time thought may be aroused 
by them or expressed through them. 

That which has been left almost entirely out of 
the discussion of how to teach the first steps in 
reading has been the means needed to arouse 
strong, continuous, and cumulative interest in the 
thought exj^ressed by the words themselves, and 
how to develop that motive with its content of in- 
terest which will most effectually overcome seem- 
ing, but not real, difficulties. 

The educative habit of attention is purely a 
cultivatable one. In simple spontaneity, without 
direction, there is very little development of the 
habit of attention. There may be many acts of 
attention, but they cease before they reach the 
educative poiut, or they have no organic rela- 
tion each to the others. The cultivation of the 
habit of attention is the main factor in education, 
— the habit of observing closely, listening intently 
to language, and of reading intensely are the fun- 

Attention. 133 

damental means by which self-activity is induced 
and developed. 

The cultivation of the habit of attention depends Brain exhaustion 
fundamentally upon the condition of the body, the^^^^ 
brain, tlie nerve tracts, in fact the whole physical 
system. Teachers should study and thoroughly 
understand how long an act of attention can be sus- 
tained. This depends entirely upon the strength 
and endurance of the brain and nerve power, 
enhanced by the whole body. This can be illus- 
trated by physical exertion : when a muscle is exer- Muscular exer- 
cised, the waste matter is eliminated, and there is "^®* 
an immediate flow of blood to the muscle to repair 
the loss. If the exercise is continued too long, the 
waste matter cannot be carried off fast enough, 
the flow of blood is insufficient, and exhaustion sets 
in. Continue the action of the muscle longer, and 
the result is disastrous. Physical exercise carried 
beyond the point of exhaustion, it will be granted 
by all students of physical training, weakens instead 
of strengthens the body. Besides — and this is the 
main point — there is always a dislike of exercise, 
and an unpleasant emotion aroused, by the weak- 
ening of the muscles through over-action. 

The human brain is the most delicate, the most Too long-contin- 
complex, physical organ in existence. Whatever ^5^^^^^® "^^^^"^g' 
is true of the over-exercise of a muscle is still body and weaken 
more strikingly true of the over-exercise of the^^^™"^^' 
brain. An act of attention is conditioned entirely 
upon the physical strength of the brain, — upon the 
elementary ideas held or retained by the physical 
qualities of the brain below the plane of conscious- 
ness. In an act of attention the blood flows through 
millions of delicate arteries to reinforce and sustain 
the action of the brain. If a muscle becomes ex- 

134 Talks on Pedagogics. 

hausted after repeated acts of the same kind, how 
much more quickly the delicate fibres of the brain 
will become exhausted I The teacher who really 
strives to develop pure acts of attention on the 
part of the child should remember that no matter 
what the object of attention may be, how strong 
the motive which prompts the interest, or how 
delightful at first the mental act, exhaustion sets 
in with children very quickly. 

In fact, while I use the little child for illustra- 
tion, it is equally true of all persons who have not 
trained themselves in the habit of attention. You 
might perhaps try the experiment on yourself by 
listening to some sermon or lecture upon phi- 
losophy or pedagogics. A person who can listen 
for forty minutes, for instance, with the closest 
attention to any elucidation of an unfamiliar 
theory has an immense power of attention ; in 
fact, has attained the one pre-eminent habit of 
Cultivated power But habits of attention are acquired with ex- 
of attention. ceeding slowness. The moment the brain of the 
Habits of attention child becomes exhausted, no matter, as I have 
very slowly cuiti-aii-eady said, how beautiful the object studied may 
be in itself, the immediate result is a sort of mental 
nausea or disgust with the subject. A weakness 
is caused which afterwards prevents free action, 
because the moment the object, or subject, is again 
presented the associated emotion takes possession 
of the mind. You know a subject and love it, 
and take delight in studying it; in fact, no one 
can ever study any subject really and truly with- 
out loving it, for truth is beautiful always. Try 
to teach these same truths so grand to you, to the 
child, and you are surprised at his attitude of 

Attention. 135 

disgust. In nine cases out of ten this undesirable 
result is the product of brain exhaustion. Under 
the control of traditional education, the false 
meaning of the word " thorough " has done more 
damage than any other word. You feel, as a Great mistake in 
teacher, that the child must see as you see, have tion. 
the same action that you have, and you try to bring 
it about by the proper conditions. He cannot have 
the same action, and when he becomes exhausted 
thi-ough futile efforts to attend, the product is dis- 
gust. He dislikes the topic because it is beyond 
his thought grasp, and his dislike is a barrier to 
future action in that direction. 

In reality there is no need whatever, in careful 
teaching, of this brain exhaustion and its terrible 
mind - weakening results. The child without 
guidance observes briefly many objects in succes- 
sion. He does this spontaneously, without exhaus- 
tion. Change rests the brain. A great variety of 
related objects should be used in teaching, extend- 
ing gradually the time of each act of observation, 
so that the healthy interest may be sustained. 
The direction that I would give to all teachers is 
Watch the child, watch his attitude of attention, watcii the child. 
Is it spontaneous ? Is the light of pleasure in his 
eye ? Is interest the motive which controls him ? 
So long as that exists there is no danger, but just 
before it may cease — I mean the feeling of pleasure i 
— the action should be stopped. ' 

In the same direction there is another great FoUowing one 
pedagogical error. That is the attempt to sustain series of subjects, 
attention day after day upon one series of subjects. 
The old pedagogical belief was that the child must 
take one subject, and observe, investigate, classify, 
and follow that subject logically to its higher gen- 

136 Talks on Pedagogics. 

eralizations. Let us fall back upon the premise, 
which is absolutely true, that the organism deter- 
mines that which shall enter. The growth of the 
organism is exceedingly slow, the individual con- 
cepts are at first obscure and vague. The condi- 
tions are there for spontaneous, not scientific, 
classification. Endeavor, in a course of lessons 
which require attention, to force the child's mental 
acts in any one direction so that he may arise to 
generalizations through series of inferences based 
upon careful observations, and you will jDroduce 
the same effect that I suggested in regard to 
brain exhaustion in prolonged and futile acts of 
attention. You disgust the child with the sub- 
ject, and render all after-study difficult in the 
The cMid beffins In the plan suggested in the discussion of the 
an subjects SI on- ggj-^^ral subjects I beg leave to recall . to your 
mind that the child begins all subjects spontane- 
ously; at least he is interested in everything, and 
begins instinctively the investigation of all sub- 
jects known in the curriculum of any university, 
before he is six years old. He goes from bird to 
bush, from grass to flower; in fact his whole en- 
vironment acts in succession upon him, and there 
is no exhaustion. The teacher is there to present 
conditions so that these external objects will act 
just a little more, sufficient to keep the interest 
up, and not enough to induce exhaustion and con- 
sequent disgust and dislike. I had an excellent 
opportunity to observe the so-called logical plan 
of taking one object and using it exhaustively. 
The orange was taken for a course of lessons : It 
was modelled, painted, drawn, and studied; it was 
peeled, and the skin was observed ; it was then cut 

Attention. 137 

into parts, and the pulp and seed observed, drawn, 

painted, and descriptions written. 

With a firm Belief that children instinctively The danger of 

love nature studies, I could not at first understand trying to exhaust 
^ one subject lUus- 

why, after an intense delight in the first lessons, trated. 

the interest waned, flickered and went out. The 
method, and not the subject, was wrong; it was a 
iutile attempt to force the child beyond the pos- 
sibilities of his mental power. 

The method * that we have now adopted, con- 
tinues that which every child has already begun; 
keeps interest keenly alive by using a great variety 
of subjects; makes the ever-changing phenomena 
of the " rolling year " the basis of observation, ex- 
perience, and investigation : presents the same 
subjects each successive year, to be met by con- 
tinually enhanced interest, power to observe and 
to reason. Beyond the limits of the pupil's ca- 
pacity lie the sterile regions of empty word learn- 

One other error as potent for evil as brain 
exhaustion and logical sequence, is study with a 
fixed purpose to prove an hypothesis presented by 
the teacher, or previously formed by the pupil. 
If there is any prejudgment or fixed supposition Prejudgments, 
of what will be found or proven, there can be no 
free act of attention. To use a figure of speech, 
the mind goes out to the object with a fixed 
motive to prove something that is already in the 
mind. Under such a motive there can be no real 
investigation in regard to the truth. The atti- 
tude of the mind is merely, " There is something 
I wish to prove, and this act of attention will 

* Wilbur S. Jackmau, in " Nature Study." 

138 Talks on Pedagogics. 

prove it." The attitude of i3rejudice is a cramped 
attitude of the mind, into which nothing can enter, 
where there can be no enhancement of facts, and 
no fresh, vivid, and original inferences. I can il- 
lustrate this by conventional drawing. The pupil 
learns to draw the typical fish from a flat copy. 
He gains, therefore, merely a conventional imago 
of a fish. Afterwards in the study of zoology, 
when required to draw a real fish, the pupil natu- 
rally recalls and reproduces the conventional form, 
and the benefit of self-effort in continuous observa- 
tion is lost. 
TeacMng;, What is teaching but the presentation of ex- 

ternal conditions for educative self-effort ? The 
work of the teacher in educating is confined to the 
presentation of these conditions. All these condi- 
tions consist of objects and their movements in 
space. It is of tremendous importance that the 
teacher appreciates the philosophy of external en- 
ergies, and the psychology of their creative and 
stimulating action uj)on the mind. All education 
is by self-activity, but when this self-activity over- 
steps the bounds and tries to do that which nature 
does perfectly herself, it defeats its own end. Self- 
activity has certain boundaries; for instance, in 
attention the boundary is the holding of the body 
and mind in an attitude for the action of external 
energies. I repeat this over and over again, that 
a certain overstraining of the mind in self-activity 
destroys its purpose. 

" The eye— it cannot choose but see 
We cannot bid the ear be still ; 
Our bodies feel, where'er they be, 
• Against, or with our will. 

Attention. 139 

Nor less I deem that there are Powers 
Which of themselves our minds impress ; 
That we can feed this miud of ours 
lu a wise passiveness. 

Thiuk you, 'mid all this mighty sum 
Of things forever speaking, 
That nothing of itself will come, 
But we must still be seeking." 

Education may be defined as the development of Definition of edu- 
tlie attitude of the beihg towards truth. Over- nation, 
action, overstraining, and prejudgment are ob- 
structions in the path towards freedom, for while 
self-activity is of the utmost importance, still 
undue interference on the part of the ego may be 
such as to obstruct rather than further the highest 
development of the being. 

Every subject of thought, every object of no one can really 

attention, truly studied and freely observed, must ^^^^ ^^^^^ ^ ^^^~ 
,-. . , .. „ , ^ ject without lov- 

arouse m the mmd emotions of pleasure. In a ing that subject. 

word, the test of whether you know a subject, 
whether you are really studying a subject, is your 
love for that subject. I think I can say positively 
that no one knows a subject unless he loves it. On 
the other hand, the test that proves that one has 
never studied a subject, is the feeling of satisfac- 
tion when he has finished it, when he has " been 
through it," passed examination, and the stint- 
work is done. 

All true study develops an apprehension of unity Goal of all tme 
— unity of design, unity of purpose, unity of love, study. 
By these tests, and with this goal, educative acts 
of attention may be cultivated. The opportunities 
for attention in the central subjects of study are 
infinite, — infinite in direct observation and bound- 
less in reading and hearing-language. The highest 

140 Talks on Pedagogics. 

duty of the teacher is to adapt the right conditions 
for mental action to the individual mind. 

Every step in the right direction brings new 
light and new love, arouses curiosity, enhances 
desire, and stimulates to prolonged and persistent 
study. Every fresh discovery opens new vistas, 
deepens perspective, and cultivates humility, that 
poverty of spirit which leads upward to the King- 
dom of Heaven. 

" And thus looking within and around me, I ever renew 

(With that stoop of the soul which in bending upraises it 

The submission of man's nothing-perfect to God's all- 

As by each new obeisance in spirit I climb to his feet." 

Observation, 14; 


I PROPOSE to discuss observation as a mode of 
attention, its relations to the central subjects of 
study, its place in teaching, and its educational 

Observation may be defined as a mental process observation de- 
induced by the continued action of objects or units *"^^*^* 
of attributes upon consciousness. The mental ac- 
tion involved in observation consists fundamentally 
of the units of elementary ideas, or individual con- 
cepts, aroused by objects acting upon conscious- 
ness. To the conscious products synthetized by ex- 
ternal objects, we may give three names with the 
same meaning: first, conscious effects of the ob- 
jects; second, mental correspondences to the ob- " Correspond- 
jects; and third, individual concepts. The phrase ^"*^^* 
"correspondence to the object," is a conventional 
term to show the relation of the mental effect to 
the external cause. Individual concept is a term "individual con- 
used to limit a unit of elementary ideas, which *^^Pt-" 
the ego discriminates from all other conscious en- 
tities. The adjective " individual " is used to in- "individual." 
dicate the discriminating power of the ego in defin- 
ing a particular unit of elementary ideas, and 
in separating in thought this unit from all other 
units or individual concepts. The relation of the Relation of the ego 
ego to external objects in observation, consists in objects!^ ^™ 
holding the body and mind in the best possible 


Talks on Pedaeosics. 


External attri- 

Elementai-y idea. 

Individual con- 

Relation of ele- 
mentary ideas 
and individual 
concepts to 

attitude for the most economical action of external 

It may be well for me to repeat a few defini- 
tions, which may differ from the common psycho- 
logical terms. I use them here for the sake of 
defiuiteness or to avoid ambiguity. 

(1) An external attribute is a simple energy 
acting through a particular quality of matter upon 
the brain. 

(2) An elementary idea is the product in the 
brain of an external attribute. The causes and 
conditions of its existence are : 

(a) Physical power of the brain to receive the action of 
the external attribute. 

(5) The repeated action of the attribute or external energy 
over special nerve tracts. 

(3) An individual concept is a synthesis or unit 
of elementary ideas with three causes : 

{a) The direct action of the attributes of the object upon 
the brain, the effect of the object itself being to synthetize 
elementary ideas as they rise above the plane of conscious- 

{b) The action of symbols, pure and partial. 

(c) The action of the ego in bringing about the necessary 
conditions for the union of elementary ideas into individual 

The tirst and second action are through the senses, and 
the third is without the immediate aid or stimulus of the 

The relation of elementary ideas and individual 
concepts to knowledge of the universe may be 
stated as follows: first, an elementary idea is the 
absolute basis of all knowledge of its correspond- 
ing attribute, all externality so far as mind is 
concerned consisting of attributes ; second, the 
individual concept corresponding to an object 

Observation. 143 

is the absolute basis of all knowledge of chat 

object. Or, to present this matter in a somewhat 

clearer light, — upon the individual concepts as 

here defined, dejoend all elementary inferences: 

first, the simple inferences of recognition; second, inference, recog-- 

the inferences of analysis of the individual concept ; '"*^°^' ?^^"^^!f',. 
•' ^ ^ comparison, classt- 

third, the inferences of comparison; fourth, thefication,generaii- 
inferences of classification ; and fifth, the related 2**^°°* 
inferences of generalization. An equation may 
thus be formulated: as are the individual con- 
cepts, so may be the inferences, analyses, compari- 
sons, classifications, and consequent generaliza- 

The individual concepts of children, and the in- cmde individuaJ 
dividual concepts of most persons who live and die*^"""^*®' 
in this world, are exceedingly vague, crude, and 
obscure. That is, they are crude, vague, and ob- 
scure in comparison with any approximation to 
adequacy. This can be tested in many ways. Try 
to form a mental image of that which you have 
seen thousands of times, and you will immediately 
be seized with a desire to see the object again; 
that is, you have a feeling of its obscurity or in- 
completeness. If there is a demand made upon 
you to paint, draw, or model an object which you 
have seen over and over again, the desire to see 
the object becomes still more intense. You feel a 
necessity for a more continued action of the object 
upon your consciousness, because you are aware 
that the concept corresponding to it is imperfect. 
Upon the growth, development, and approxima- 
tion to adequacy of individual concepts dej)ends 
almost wholly the development of intellectual 

It may be well here to make an attempt to 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

All analyses and 
comparisons de- 
pend npon the in- 
dividual concept. 

An adequate con- define an adequate concept, a concept which per- 
fectly corresponds to the attributes of an object ; to 
the arrangement and relation of those attributes 
to the whole object. First, an individual concept 
must have for its content just the number of ele- 
mentary ideas that its corresj)onding object has of 
attributes. Second, the individual conce2)t must 
have its elementary ideas correspondingly arranged 
and related to each other, exactly as the attributes 
of the corresponding object are arranged and re- 
lated to each other. Third, each elementary idea 
corresponding to an external attribute must have 
the same degree of intensity or vividness that the 
attribute has in itself. If this hypothesis be ac- 
cepted, you will see at once that an adequate 
individual concept is the basis of perfect judg- 
ments of form, size, etc., of the corresponding ob- 
ject. All analysis of an object depends upon the 
analysis of the individual concept. All com- 
parison, or comparisons, of two or more objects 
depend for their results on the approximation to 
adequacy of the compared individual concepts. 
No comparisons take place outside of conscious- 
ness, and the result of the comjDarisons depends 
entirely upon that which is in consciousness at the 
time of comparison. The scientific value of all 
classifications which are the result of comparisoii 
depends upon the distinctness of the individual 
concepts. Upon individual concepts and approxi- 
mation to adequacy depends all our knowledge of 
the external world. 
Adequate concepts Taking for granted this attempted definition of 
purely ideal. ^^ adequate individual concept the following in- 
ferences may be made: that simple mind energy, 
which I call an elementary idea, never can equal in 


Observation. 145 

power or intensity the external attribute, for the 
reason that no brain has tlie physical basis of such 
adequacy; no individual concept can have for its 
content all the elementary ideas which correspond 
to the attributes of an object, for the simple reason 
that all the attributes of an object cannot, from 
the nature of the brain itself, act in and through 
it. It follows, therefore, that the arrangement of 
the individual concept must be vastly inferior to 
the arrangement of attributes in the object. In a 
word, an adequate individual concept is purely 
ideal; no such result was ever yet produced in the 
human brain or synthetized by the mind. I refer 
you to what I have already said in the talk on 
attention, that the attributes which act upon con- 
sciousness, upon the highest developed brain, are 
exceedingly vague compared with the attributes 
which compose the great All Energy of the uni- 
verse. The development of the brain is along the 
line of its power to receive more and more of ex- 
ternal attributes, to increase its power of corre- 
spondence, that each attribute may act with greater 
deiiniteness, and produce higher results in the way 
of clearer elementary ideas, and more nearly com- 
plete individual concepts. 

I do not wish to exaggerate in any way the Practical value of 
importance of the growth and development of "^*^|;^'^''^ *^°^" 
individual concepts, but I believe that a little 
reflection upon modern history will confirm what 
I have said in regard to the value of distinct cor- 
respondences in consciousness to external objects. 
"We are all somewhat vaguely aware that in the 
last fifty years there has been a complete revolu- 
tion in discoveries and inventions. I say that we 
are vaguely aware of this fact, because it seems im- ,-;^a 

146 Talks on Pedagogics. 

possible for the human mind to comprehend the 
immense gains for humanity and human growth 
that have been made within a short lifetime. 
How can this tremendous advance be explained ? 
All modern discovery, invention and progress in 
science consist wholly and entirely in the discovery 
of differentiated energies which act through mat- 
ter, energies that have existed since the beginning, 
and which have been ever active and acting, await- 
ing a closer and more thorough observation. 

Watt, with sharpened senses, watched the form 
of the rising, curling steam, until he discovered the 
energy which acted through the particles of vapor 
and utilized it. Newton considered heat a ma- 
terial substance, but closer observation proves it to 
be a mode of motion, a great animating energy. 
Not until the forms of sound vibratious were dis- 
covered was the nature of sound known, and the 
great application in the telephone and phonograph 
made. The same can be said concerning the dis- 
covery of the nature of light and color. When 
the waves of ether we call color, their shape and 
mode of motion, were discovered, then we learned 
for the first time what color really is. Keen ob- 
servers of electricity fill the laboratories of to-day. 
When we know exactly what electricity is — and it 
is probably a mode of motion allied to sound, heat 
and color — we shall know better how to apply 
the same. The theory of evolution, worked out 
by Lamarck, and brought before the thinking 
world by Darwin, is the product of the closest 
observation. Keen-eyed geologists, within a few 
years, have changed most of the former genera- 
lizations in regard to the history of the earth's 
crust, The science pf ethnology has also been 



created within a very few years, and its creation 
has depended largely ujjon discoveries of the 
traces of man's life in ruins and in the earth, and 
the interpretation of those traces by thoughtful 

The psychology of to-day depends upon the 
closest observation of the physical basis of con- 
sciousness and the relation of brain and the whole 
sensorium to mind action. Individual concepts External energies 
corresponding to objects and bodies of matter of wMch act upon 
which the universe consists are the products of 
searching investigations and the most indefatigable 
study; from such concepts have sprung the mar- 
vellous discoveries in modern progress. All study 
of the universe has for its sole aim the knowledge 
of those energies which act through qualities of 
matter. When we thoughtfully ajipreciate the all- 
important truth that the universe is the manifes- 
tation to man of Eternal Love and Power, we get 
some apprehension of the priceless value of obser- 
vation and investigation. 

There are thinkers and educators in this world Sense-products 
of ours from whose writings we seem to gatlier the 'i'i<i«^^^i''ed. 
inference that the creation of the senses is not al- 
together a success; that although the senses are of 
some use, still the sooner the mind gets into the 
region of abstraction, and away from the domina- 
tion of the senses, the better, and that a few sense- 
products are amply sufficient for the evolution of 
the highest philosophy. When the educative value 
of observation is urged, these profound abstrac- 
tionists cite, with a presumption of finality, the 
case of the savage who is surrounded by all the The savage, 
beauties and glories of nature. *' Why/' they say, 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Why the savage 
is not educated. 

Acnteness and 
sharpness not 

Motives compared 

"is this child of nature not educated, when he has 
complete educational means at his command?" 

The same question might be asked, with equal 
justice, of the brute, who lives in the mountains 
and the woods. It seems to be an indisputable 
fact, that the human organism, or the brute organ- 
ism for that matter, determines absolutely the cre- 
ative influence of externality; that the organism of 
the brain itself, with its convolutions and fibres 
and sub-organs, determines that which shall enter 
it and vivify it. It is said — I do not know with 
how much truth— that there are savages surrounded 
by infinite attributes of color upon whom but three 
colors act. It is said that there are Bushmen who 
cannot see a picture. If the painting of a very 
familiar landscape is presented, they will hold it 
upside down, and look at it indifferently, without 
its arousing any appropriate activities. 

Again, the motive determines all intellectual 
action and growth. It is stated that the savage has 
wonderful sight, wonderful hearing, wonderful 
acuteness and sharpness in listening for the steps 
of the approaching foe or watching the trace of the 
flying game, and it is true; but the motive is entirely 
limited to self-preservation, either in self-defence 
or as a means of satisfying his hunger and limited 
personal wants. His acuteness and sharpness are 
narrowed down by his motive. It has the very 
lowest educative value. When his motive rises to 
the preservation of his family, his observation 
takes a wider sweep, and still broader when he 
is incited to work for his community or tribe. 
Compare these low motives in evolution with 
the high motive of the love of truth for truth's 
sake, or a deep, strong curiosity to know, or. 

Observation. 149 

with the still higher motive, the belief that 
much can be found for the good of humanity. 
Finally, environment in every stage of evolution, 
from the lowest grade of savagery, or even brute 
life if you please, has had its particular effect in 
the evolution of man. From the hypothesis of Hypothesis of 
evolution countless generations must live and die evolution, 
and project their evolution into other generations 
before the being rises to that which we call educa- 
tion. And to this may be added that that which 
is called education is the designed presentation of 
conditions for the evolution of the whole being. 
The savage or barbarian has had little or no such 
j)resentation, no scientific conditions for the evolu- 
tion of thought. So it seems to me that this ar- 
gument, so often brought up, regarding the savage, 
in order to show conclusively that observation is 
not the foundation of all human development, falls 
to the ground. 

The other great means for education we find in Symbols. 
symbols, the greatest number of which are in oral 
and written languages. These symbols are used 
for the expression of man's thought in contradic- 
tion to the fact that the universe is the expression 
of God's thought. But throughout the ages edu- 
cators and authorities have clung tenaciously to 
the delusion that the greatest and most effective Educative value 
means of education consist in the study of books. J^o^g^^*'^*^"^ °^ 
Words have been their fetish, everlastingly adhered 
to; clung to as a pagan clings to his idols. The 
greatest problem of the past, in which the para- 
mount idea was « control of the many by the few," 
was how to make man believe he was educated, 
and at the same time deprive him of the power of 
original thinking. The whole machinery of au- 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Books the means 
of perpetuating 
human authority. 

The educative 
value of reading 
and observation 

Divine power of 
external energies, 

thority and the immense ijower of tradition were 
brought to bear upon the sohition of this question, 
liow to keep the masses from anything like true 
education. One solution of the problem was to 
separate the soul from the truth by means of the 
written page. " Study, learn, believe, and follow 
me!" is the echo of oppression in all the past; 
the same command is still written in ignorant 
souls, in human beings struggling in darkness all 
over the known world, and even, alas! in our own 
republic, in which we have lately decided that 
society can rule itself. 

A careful comparison of the relative educational 
values of reading, or the study of books, and of 
observation, is of the first importance to teachers. 
Many who will readily grant that the written page 
is an absolute necessity to human development, 
will at the same time positively deny that the 
printers' ink has ever or can ever reveal to man 
eternal truths so efficiently as by the direct mani- 
festation of God through the universe. We will 
take for our hypothesis that all energy is a unit. 
We may not know this, but we believe it, — that all 
energy, all knowledge, and all love, are compre- 
hended in God. I say all love, for I must here re- 
peat the words of Browning : 

" The loving worm within its sod were diviner 
Than a loveless God amid his worlds." 

We can also reasonably hold to the hypothesis 
that that All-Love and All-Power, that unit of 
divine energy, manifests itself to human minds 
through matter; that the energy becomes element- 
ary, is differentiated in and through matter for 
the direct purpose of revealing itself to man's soul; 
that the leaf and fiower, the mists and the clouds 

Observation. 151 

that tell their stories of the far-off ocean, the 
pebble on the beach, and the coal that burns in 
the grate, are in themselves and their causes reve- 
lations that human souls are capable of under- 
standing. There is no beam of light that strikes 
the eye and colors the mind but says to man: 
" Follow me, and find me." " Behold, I stand at 
the door and knock." The divine energy sur- 
rounds man, forms his environment, and acts upon 
his soul with unspeakable power. " He that hath 
ears to hear, let him hear." 

Myth-creating, common to all mankind from the -niyth 

time that light first kindled the fire of curiosity 
in human souls, has been and is the strong mark 
of the universal tendency of man to find God 
through His manifestations in nature. Shall we 
say that this tendency is wrong because imperfect 
observations, by struggling minds, have led to 
tentative and imperfect conclusions ? Is it not 
better to believe that this all-controlling desire Myth the patt- 
is divine in its nature, pointing man to that higher ^^■^^°*^°*^* 
knowledge, the Creator's revelation of Himself, 
which will finally lead to the truth? 

These two hypotheses have been the central 
cause of the conflict between man and man: man's 
duty is to know and obey the behests of human 
authority; man's soul was created for and endowed 
with the power to seek and find eternal truth for 
itself. I would not overrate the value of obser- 
vation, or underrate books as means of educa- 
tion; I only state to you, my fellow-teachers, that 
which comes to me with overpowering force. 
"We have climbed up some other way;" we have 
said : " This is nature, this is science, and that is 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Human and divine What is history with its countless tomes ? His- 
authority. ^Qj.y {j-^ spirit is the mirror of man's prejudices, the 

expression of his self-conceit, his subserviency, his 
serfdom, his worship of kings, forms of govern- 
ment, and creeds. Goethe has put this in a few 
expressive words : 

Goethe. " Was ihr den Geist der Zeiten heisst, 

Dfis ist im Grund der Herren eiguer Geist, 
lu dem die Zeileu sich bespiegelu. 
Da ist's denn wahrlich oft eiu Jammer ! 
Man lauft euch bei dem eisten Blick davon. 
Ein Kericbtfass uud eine Rumpelkammer, 
Und hocbstens eine Haupt- nnd Staatsaction, 
Mit trefflicben pragmatiscbeu Maximen, 
Wie sie den Puppen wobl in Munde ziemen!" 

" Wbat you tbe Spirit of tbe Ages call 
Is notbing but tbe spirit of you all, 
"Wberein tbe ages are reflected. 
So, oftentimes, you miserably mar it ! 
At tbe first glance wbo sees it runs away. 
An offal-barrel and a lumber garret. 
Or, at tbe best, a Punch-and-Judy play, 
Witb maxims most pragmatical and bitting, 
As in tbe moutbs of puppets are befitting ! " * 

The study of It is true, following the lead of Niebuhr, that 

^ '^^^' the study of history is fast becoming scientific: our 

greatest American writer of history, John Fiske, 
has helped us essentially in this direction. The best 
we can say of past history, preceding the scientific 
period, is that the hurhan environment (the "Zeit- 
geist") controlled in a marked degree written his- 
tory. History is in sjairit and truth a written ac- 
count of the evolution of man. The great ques- 

Scientific history, tion which modern scientists are seeking to solve is : 

* Translated by Bayard Taylor. 

Observation. i^^ 

how, by the study of human records, can we find 
the truth in the mass of chaif and fiction ? First 
of all, we must be able to estimate the spirit of the What is true 
times, the eontrolliug motive of the writer, and his ^^ °^^ 
surroundings and limitations. We can illustrate 
this by recent history. Take histories of our late 
Civil War — one written from the Confederate 
standpoint, and one written from the Union stand- 
point: the study of either history alone would in- 
evitably lead to errors that must develop bigotry 
and extreme prejudice. How can we find the truth 
in history ? How can the wheat be sifted from the 

Personal experience is the fundamental means Personal expeti- 
or basis of judgment of the experiences of the J^Js rf^udgment. 
race in all ages. A chikrs observations and experi- 
ences in family, community, social, religious, and 
school life lay the foundations of his after judg- 
ments of human life, both present and past. If a 
strong, tyrannical government controls him in the 
family or in the school, he will either reverence or 
hate that form of government as he compares his 
own life with the lives he finds in history. "He "He who possesses 
who possesses the youth, possesses the future," *^^'^°^^'*°®" „ 
may mean that a child's early life should be 
"cabined, cribbed, confined" by tradition, bigotry, 
and prejudice. If his experiences and observations 
open his soul to the love of truth and the love of 
mankind, if his school life breaks the awful barrier 
of hate, then he can read and interpret history 
in the divine light of love to all mankind. If 
history is dogmatically taught, the history of a 
church, or the history of one form of government, 
the students are led to believe implicitly the 
printed statements, and the result is the perpetua- 

154 Talks on Pedagogics. 

tion of narrow mental and moral limitations. Such 
study bars the path of liberty to freedom. The 
student must have the means, the mental power, to 
judge for himself, and the bases of that judgment 
are the products of his oivn personal observation. 
Dogmatic teach- Dogmatic teaching is the perpetuation of dogma 
"^^- and creed in government and church. The teach- 

ing of history which presents the proper conditions 
and leaves to the student his ov^n inferences and 
his own generalizations leads to the education of 
the true citizen and the development of the highest 
type of manhood. 
Sg£gjjgg_ What text-books shall be used in teaching sci- 

ence ? The distinguished head of a Scottish 
University is quoted as having said that a text- 
book upon science more than ten years old cannot 
be profitably used by university students: this 
statement but echoes the opinion of all scientists. 
Text-books upon All text-books upon science, then, Avhich do not 
science. present the latest inductions and generalizations 

are to be relegated to the history of the evolution 
of science. To a student of such history the 
works of the scientists of the past are of great 
value, because they present the protracted study 
and struggles of great thinkers who arrived at ten- 
tative and incorrect conclusions from insufficient 
data or inaccurate observations and experiments. 
The whole history of science is strewn with the 
Wrecks of wrecks of theories. It is true that no scientist 

theories. ever worked in vain, that even "our failures are a 

prophecy," but the principal truth acquired in the 
study of the science of the past goes to prove the 
weakness and incom^Dleteness of inadequate obser- 
vations. The most important lesson taught by 
this continual surrender of generalizations is that 

Observation, 155 

the theories of to-day are simply tentative; that 
although progress in science has been marvellous 
in its outcome, still the human race is but upon 
the threshold of the discovery of new truths, which 
will no doubt put in abeyance many if not all of 
the modern conclusions. In a word, the great panggr of text- 
danger in teaching science, as in everything else, ''o"^ science, 
is to teach a perfect reliance upon human authority. 

Some one has said that the greatest discovery 
of the Nineteenth Century is the " suspended judg- The "suspended 
ment;" in other words, the true scientific attitude ^'^'^^™^^*'" 
towards discovery and investigation. Whatever a 
working hypothesis may be, the genuine scientist 
is just as anxious to prove its falsity as its truth, 
and he bends all his energies to collect the data 
for either result. A very good working definition Definition of 
of education is, the development of the attitude^^^^^^^^' 
of the soul towards truth. That attitude can be 
cultivated only by the self-activity of the mind 
with unprejudiced judgment intent on the direct 
discovery of truth. A too early study of text-books 
has a strong tendency to prejudice judgment and 
restrict the attitude of the mind in its original in- 
genuousness: "Except ye become as a little child." 

The human mind has, in general, two opposite 
poles. One is a tendency to inertia, from which ijjgrtia and 
arises a longing desire for a fixed and final belief curiosity, 
in dogmas. The other pole is curiosity to discovei 
truth, stimulated by an honest doubt of pre- 
sented generalizations; "doubt is the beginning of 
wisdom." There is no better way to develop and 
cultivate this Heaven-born attitude of the soul 
towards truth than by bringing it directly in con- 
tact with truth along the shortest line of resist- 
ance — God's manifestation before man's represen- 


Talks on Pedagogic^. 

Observation a 
means of cultivat- 
ing: love for tie 

laboratories of 

Plea for children's 

Ignorance of 
teachers the 
reason science is 
not taught to 
Uttle children. 

tation. Observation is a fuudamental means of 
cultivating a love for trutli and an earnest desire 
to know it. On these grounds the two great an- 
tagonistic motives meet and have their conflict; 
one of which is that a human being should believe 
implicitly in human authority, and the other, that 
a soul shall doubt human authority and try to find 
trutli for itself. In the former, books alone are 
the first and efficient means; in the latter, unpreju- 
diced observation. One is the study of text-books 
made by man; the other, the study of the book of- 
nature, the direct revelation of God to man. The 
cultivation of the love for science is the cultivation 
of the love for truth, for beauty, and for goodness. 

That laboratories for direct investigation, obser- 
vation, and experiment are indispensable, is now 
recognized by all universities, some colleges, and a 
few high schools. The true leaven has begun to 
work in secondary education, aroused, it is true, by 
the great practical value of discoveries. But I wish 
to enter here a special plea for the children, having 
already shown that they begin all these subjects of 
science spontaneously. I wish to earnestly protest 
against making school-children wander through a 
long desert and wilderness of words before a few 
of them, who intellectually survive, can have the 
inestimable privileges of direct observation found 
in the laboratories of universities. When pupils 
in the lower schools study science throughout the 
course there will be a hundred students in our 
universities where now there is one. 

I can here safely give the reason why children 
are not taught science, and I think you will all 
agree with me: teachers do not really know science 
themselves, on account of text-book methods. So 

Observation. 157 

we should hail with great joy the fact that the uni- 
versities are now opening laboratories for the direct 
study of science. How can the day be hastened 
when the little ones, on entering school, shall be 
brought face to face with the truth manifested by 
the Creator through His works ? 

Here I present an argument often used and ven- 
erable — used not so much to-day as yesterday — an 
argument put in the form of a question, which 
seems to settle the matter in the minds of those who 
ask it: "Shall the child in his search for knowl-siiouidachiidgo 
edge go through all the experiences of his race in tiirougrii the 
finding it ? Must the cliild discover for himself all race? 
the generalizations which he is to make his own?" 
This question would seem to imply that there is 
in the minds of some reformers in education an 
idea that past experiences are of little use to the 
child. Or, to put it the other way, it is sufficient 
for the child to learn what great discoverers have 
found, to memorize their facts generalizations, 
and thereby gain the required knowledge. 

What has the past brought to the child of the 
present ? Certainly the child should not go through 
all the mistakes in observation of those scientists 
who offer him their incomplete products. " There wo royal road to 
is no royal road to learning" means, if it means any- learning:. 
thing, that self-activity is the fundamental law of 
human growth, that each human being must 
"work out his own salvation," that he must dis- 
cover truth for himself. It means that there are immutaWe laws, 
immutable laws of human growth and develop- 
ment; that the brain, cell, fibre, and filament; that 
the conscious activities, that the laws of con- 
sciousness, synthesis ; analysis, comparison, classifi- 
cation, and generalization, are precisely the same as 


All education by 



they were in tlie begiiining; that the powers of a 
human being may be enhanced by heredity, but 
the laws of the mind remain the same; that 
there is no human education possible except by 
self-educative effort, and that all the products of 
the past do not diminish in the least the necessity 
for the succession of self -efforts in the direction of 
higher development. 
What the past has The vast treasures which the past has brought 
brought the child, ji^jjy i^q divided into two principal factors of edu- 
cation: first, a better knowledge of the Immau 
being, of anthropology, ethnology, psychology, 
and all those sciences which embrace the knowl- 
edge of the origin, growth, and development of 
man; second, the discovery of the external con- 
ditions of human growth, the knowledge of nature 
and its laws, of man and his true history. The 
science of pedagogics is the science of the appli- 
cation of external conditions for human growth, 
physical, mental, and moral. The delusion that 
books in themselves necessarily induce human 
growth, that there is less self -effort, less struggle, 
less persistency, less vv^ill-power necessary, is one 
which does much harm. All the past has brought 
us, with its wealth of inventions and discoveries, 
may be summed up briefly : more effective means 
for better development, and for a more effective 

All inventions and all progress consist in one 
thing — economy of energy applied to the economy 
of human action in the direction of development. 
The forces of the universe have been ever acting, 
never decreased nor diminished; from the begin- 
ning unchangeable laws have been discovered and 
applied for the use of man, If the economy of en- 

The delusion of 

Economy of 

Observation. 159 

ergy, then, is the summation of all discovery and 
of all jjrogress, the highest i:)roduct is found in the 
economy of human energy, or education. Education Education defined. 
is the economizing of the energies of the human 
being. How shall the child judge of the past, of 
the history of man and his discoveries ? By liis own 
discoveries, by his own insight, by his own self- 
effort; without this, it matters little what has been 
brought down the long ages, — the child is helpless. 

One of the saddest things in this world is that a Wasted energy, 
student may earnestly and honestly study for long 
years, only to find himself lacking in jjower to know 
and to apply the truth. The conditions of educa- 
tion must conform to immutable laws, else there 
can be no true education. Knowledge of laws and 
conformity to them concentres all the knowledge of 
the past. " Be ye not conformed to the world, but 
be ye transformed in the newness of light." 

The unconscious, synthetic, and associative acts conscious acts of 
induced by observation are in themselves pre- observation and of 

•^ ' J. 1 ■ imagfination tie 

cisely the same in kind as those acts of synthesis same in kind. 

caused by a direct act of the ego through the will. 
We name the former acts observation, from their 
cause, external objects; we name the latter acts 
imagination, from their cause, the ego; but the 
acts themselves, so far as I can see, are precisely 
the same. In observation the ego controls the 
body and mind and holds it in an attitude for 
the most economical action of the object. The 
result is a synthesis or unification of elementary 
ideas into wholes, of which the ego is conscious, 
not of the process, but of the result. In acts of 
imagination the ego, without the immediate action 
of external energies, puts itself in a mental con- 
dition for the unification of ideas, consisting of 

i6o Talks on Pedagogics, 

parts or wholes of former iiKlividnal concepts, of 
elementary ideas lying below the plane of con- 
sciousness, and of individual concej)ts which have 
formerly been in consciousness. 
Imagfination. The part that imagination plays in education 

cannot be overestimated. By imagination the 
human being can go outside of the sense grasp, can 
picture that which lies beyond his own immediate 
environment. That world beyond, of everlasting 
change in nature and man, is a world that the 
imagination must reveal, else study is vain and 
Relation of imag- The relation of the products of observation to 
mation to obser- |-|-^g products of imagination is exceedingly close. 
The mental acts in observation or unification of 
ideas, and the mental acts of imagination, are, as I 
have already said, the same in kind, and they will 
also be in the one individual the same in quality 
and the same in intensity. The products of obser- 
vation are used in imagination. ■ Whatever the 
products of observation are, so will be the products 
of imagination, if the imagination is properly ex- 
ercised. If the products of the senses are vague, 
obscure, and incomplete, it is reasonable to suppose 
that the products of the imagination will have the 
same incompleteness. If the knowledge of the en- 
vironment is weak and insufficient, the knowledge 
of that which is beyond the environment will have 
Observinff powers ^^^^ same imj^crfections. All great scientists have 
of great scientists, been ]Dersistent, close observers, and their generali- 
zations, universally applied, are the products of 
that observation. Their imperfect or wrong con- 
clusions have been derived, as before stated, from 
insufficient observation. 

There are eminent educators who seem to believe 

Observation. i6i 

that reading is the key to all knowledge; that if Reading not the 
the child is taught to read, the portals of truth are Jsey to all knowi- 
opened to him. Granting at the outset the vast ^ ^^' 
and indispensable value of the action of the printed 
page upon the mind, still it can be truthfully said 
that if there is but one key to knowledge, it is ob- 
servation, rather than reading. Most reading by 
children, and for that matter by most persons not 
truly educated, falls far short of anything like 
educative effect. The inefficiency of much read- Reading and 
ing is found in the failure of the reader^s power i™a8^"iation. 
to imagine. Nearly all of the educative read- 
ing of the children in the eight grades of the 
primary and grammar schools consists fundament- 
ally in the exercise of the imagination, that is, 
consists of descriptions of facts in history and sci- 
ence, that in order to be known must be truly 
imaged in the mind. Eeading arouses conscious 
activities, and the whole question of reading is 
whether these activities shall be educative. Mere 
reading, like all desultory and promiscuous con- 
scious action, may be anything and everything but 
educative. An educative act has for its funda- 
mental condition intensity of conscious action. 

I have already shown that mere conscious ac- Vape conscious 
tivities in themselves are not educative, nor do they ^*^ ^ 
in themselves lead to strength of mind. They are 
indeed the bases of mental power, but unless they 
become intensified, unless they rise from obscurity 
to clearness and distinctness, there is practically 
no educative movement. Now the question very 
plainly is. What should be the effects of the printed 
page upon the child's mind ? First of all, it should 
stimulate intense acts of imagination. There 
should be a richness and vividness of elementary 

i62 Talks on Pedagogics. 

ideas ready to rise above the plane of consciousness 
when excited by words. There should be a great 
store of related concepts already formed in con- 
Gettiiiff the "^^^^ common saying that reading is getting the 

thonght of the thought of an author is not scientifically correct. 
iTfi?."'"'"'*'"^''' Strictly, no one can ever have any thought but his 
own. The mental value of reading, or intense 
reading (the study of text), depends entirely upon 
the ideas which lie below the plane of conscious- 
ness; upon the individual concepts that have for- 
merly been in consciousness, and upon personal 
experiences, inferences, comparisons, and generali- 
zations. Upon the richness, fulness, and quality 
of one's own mind depends the action of printed 
words. Sentences recall former concepts, unite 
new ones, and arouse the power to understand or 
to draw original inferences. The quality of all 

Quality of acts of imaginative acts is determined by the quality of 
imagination. . ,. i • mi 

previous acts of observation. Thus we see that 

reading is not the key to knowledge; it is rather 
the corridor beyond the broad door swung open 
\ by observation. 

Text-book geog- Let US look for a moment upon that common 
raphy. scene, which would be a laughable caricature were 

it not so sad : Here are the children in the school- 
room with heads bent over a so-called " Primary 
Geography," learning definitions of mountains, 
capes and bays, of islands and plains. They learn 
the definitions, they recite the definitions, and then 
become satisfied with the delusion that they know 
something about geography. Let them lift up 
their weary heads and look out of the window, and 
there are the mountains themselves ! There is the 
bay, its waters sparkling in the bright sunlight; 

Observation. 163 

there are the plains ! ! Long experience has taught 
teachers that the child who learns the text of a 
Primary Geography rarely ever dreams that the 
objects about which he reads are ever before his 
eyes when in the open air. The teacher thinks 
how much better it is for him to learn the defi- 
nition, made by some great educator (!) — in other 
words, some job book-maker, — than it is to see the 
reality in all its beauty and power. The German ^.^^^^ excursions. 
teachers learned long ago that the only way to 
teach Geography is by observation in field excur- 
sions. Yet with us the fetich of word-learning 
holds thousands of teachers soul-bound by its super- 
stitious. They still believe that the words are of 
more educational value than the things themselves! 

Thousands and tens of thousands of pupils go Text-tooks in 
through the high-school text-books on physics, bot- 
any, and zoology with little or no observation; if 
they are sometimes fortunate enough to observe 
objects used for illustration, the specimens are too 
often paraded as something out of the ordinary, 
held in the hands of the teacher, or placed upon 
the table, merely to prove the facts (?) stated in 
the text-book. 

I am making an argument here for observation The text-took of 
that is as old as human thought. Every great '^^*^^®' 
thinker and every educator, from Socrates down 
to Froebel, have urged the study of the great ' 
text-book of nature. The Master illustrated all 
His teachings by scenes from the hills of Judea. 
The fact that confronts us in this discussion is 
that, although these truths have been urged for 
ages persistently, although they are generally be- 
lieved by thoughtful men, still the real educative, 
life-giving work of observation has reached in our 

164 Talks on Pedagogics. 

Eepublic very few cliildren, and the reason for this 
sad state of things is that very few teachers have 
had an opportunity to actually study science. 
opportunities to Outside of the school v/indows, in many a beau- 
stu yna tire. wf^xi country-place, the birds sing in the trees, the 
clouds float overhead, the trees, hills, plains, val- 
leys, all cry out to the child; all nature yearns to 
speak through his senses to his soul; waits with 
awakening power to open the sealed fountain of his 
being, to stir in him the germs of feeling that link 
his soul to the great over-brooding Soul of the 

"Wisdom and Spirit of the universe ! 
Thou Soul that art the Eternity of thought, 
That giv'st to forms and images a breath 
And everlasting motion, not in vain 
By day or starlight thus, from my first dawn 
Of childhood, didst thou intertwine for me 
The passions that build up our human soul ; 
Not with the mean and vulgar works of man, 
But with high objects, with enduring things — 
With life and nature — purifying thus 
The elements of feeling and of thought, 
And sanctifying, by such discipline, 
Both pain and fear, until we recognize 
A grandeur in the beatings of the heart." 

But the children, the poor children, are con- 
fined to dead words, as if there were some mys- 
terious power in them to awaken intellectual and 
moral life. "Behold, the fields are white, and 
ready for the harvest i " " Come and learn of me," 
"Know me," " Love me;" but he who is buried in 
the dead formalism of the past has not ears to hear 
nor heart to understand the longing cry. All- 
sided observation of nature has for its grandest 
result a profound love and reverence for God's 

Observation. 165 

glorious manifestation of Himself in the universe. 

No one can study nature without loving her; no Loving: nature. 

one is ever alone, is ever where there is nothing to 

love and to be loved by, who listens to the voice 

of the Eternal One sounding and singing through 

all that He has created and is creating. 

One of the most encouraging movements of Literature for 
modern times, in education, is the bringing Qf ^'^^'^^^^i- 
good, sweet, pure literature into the life of the 
child, replacing dry text-books with beautiful 
thoughts. But upon Avhat mental conditions does 
the power to understand, appreciate, and love good 
literature depend ? The first quality of literature 
is genuineness; genuineness is an unalloyed revela- 
tion of the soul. The fact of genuineness is tlie Genuineness. 
fundamental fact of literature, and next to and 
higher than this is the manifestation of the soul in 
its evident struggle to know and to express the 
truth. Good prose and the masterpieces of poetry 
are generally filled with lessons and illustrations 
drawn from the closest observations of the in- 
visible through the visible Avorld; indeed, take 
the descriptions, the teachings of nature, out of 
poetry, and nothing but a bare skeleton would be 

Whence have come the grandest inspirations of inspiration of all 
thinkers and writers in all ages ? The greatest ^^^^^ authors. 
preacher of our age was a devoted student of nature; 
the poets whose works live are filled with the closest 
observations of nature, and generalizations there- 
from. Nature speaks with no uncertain voice to 
him who penetrates her deeper mysteries. 

" Flower in the crannied wall, 
I pluck you out of the crannies; — 
Hold you here, root and all, in my hand, 

i66 Talks on Pedasosics. 

Little flower;— but if I could understand 
What you are, root and all, and all in all, 
I should know what God and man is." 

Is it true that a study of nature leads up to a 
knowledge of God ? Consider Job, who was es- 
tablished in his faith, in spite of all his wretched- 
ness and woe, by the contemplation of Grod in 
nature. Any one who can read with understand- 
ing these words of Lowell must have a deep well- 
spring of moral power within him : 

" Whether we look, or whether we listen, 
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten; 
Every clod feels a stir of might, 
An instinct within it that reaches and towers. 
And groping blindly above it for light, 
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers." 

Or these sublime words of Thomson : 

"... The rolling year 
Is full of Thee. Forth in the pleasing spring 
Thy beauty Avalks, Thy tenderness and love. 
Wide flush the fields; the softening air is balm; 
Echo the mountains round; the forest smiles; 
And every sense and every heart is joy. 
Then comes Thy glory in the summer months, 
With light and heat refulgent. Then Thy sun 
Shoots full perfection through the swelling year; 
And oft Thy voice in dreadful thunder speaks, 
And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve, 
By brooks and groves in hollow-whispering gales. 
Thy bounty shines in autumn unconfiued. 
And spreads a common feast for all that lives. 
In winter awful Thou ! with clouds and storms 
Around Thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest rolled, 
Majestic darkness ! on the whirlwind's wing 
' Riding sublime, Thou bid'st the world adore, 
And humblest nature with Thy northern blast. 

Mysterious round ! what skill, what force divine, 
Deep felt, "in these appear ! a simple train, 

Observation. 167 

Yet so delightful mixed, with such kind art. 
Such beauty and beneficence combined; 
Shade, unperceived, so softening into shade; 
And all so forming an harmonious whole, 
That, as they still succeed, they ravish still. 
But wandering oft, with brute unconscious gaze, 
Man marks not Thee, marks not the mighty hand. 
That, ever busy, wheels the silent spheres; 
Works in the secret deep; shoots, steaming, thence 
The fair profusion that o'erspreads the spring; 
Flings from the sun direct the flaming day; 
Feeds every creature; hurls the tempest forth; 
And, as on earth this grateful change revolves, 
With transport touches all the springs of life." 

Just in proportion as man is a tnie student of Relation of the 
nature can he understand lines like these. The ^^^"^ ^o au stcdy 
real study of science interprets the study of litera- and tMnking. 
ture, and makes it possible to enjoy and understand 
the depths of the many beautiful things in which 
poets have expressed the subliraest truth. I grant 
that there may be a cold, hard, materialistic study 
of science, but the true study of science has for 
its outcome the power to understand the best that 
there is in literature. 

The ethical use of science should not be over- Ethical nse of 
looked. Summed up as a whole, most of the^"^^*^^' 
discoveries in science have for their highest use 
the improvement of conditions for human com- 
fort, happiness, and consequent development. No 
one can study science without acquiring the means 
of enhancing the value of home and the happiness 
of the community in which he lives. Let me 
appeal to you is this not true : the things we al- 
most wholly neglect in our teaching are the earth 
we live on, the air we breathe, the water we drink,' 
and the life and powers that impinge upon us 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

science should be 
taught through- 
out the whole 
school course. 

Opportunities for 
studying science. 



from every side, the things of health and wealth, 
of true success and real education ? History tells 
us what man has been; science, what he should 
be. My earnest plea, t]ien, to you, my fellow- 
teachers, is, that our children, the future citizens 
of our country, shall have the privilege and the 
means of studying science throughout their whole 
school course. 

And here it may be well to refer to the count- 
less opportunities there are for the study of ele- 
mentary science in primary and grammar schools. 
I taught school for nearly thirty years without 
having even the vaguest ideas of the abundance of 
opportunities there is for children to study their 
environment of earth and air and water, of life 
and motion; and now it seems that the means 
near at hand for human growth are infinite in 
number and infinite in possibilities. What is there 
in Geography? That environment, especially in 
the country, must be very poor indeed that does 
not furnish a type or specimen of every form upon 
the earth's surface. Hills and valleys, mountains 
and plains, brooks and rivers, one or all of these 
natural forms, are within easy reach of almost 
every schoolhouse. Now the study of Geography 
is impossible without the direct observation of sur- 
face forms. There can be no foundation laid for 
the surface forms which must thereafter be im- 
agined, without careful observation. The first four 
or five years of a child's school life may be spent 
very profitably in observations of surface. AVhat I 
have said of Geography is just as true of Geology 
and Mineralogy. The modeling of the earth's sur- 
face is going on all the time; there is scarcely a 
school-yard, except in cities, where these observa- 



tions cannot be carried on every day. In meteo- Meteorology, 
rology, everywhere there, are clouds and winds, and 
light and heat; even if the sun must be observed 
through the dense city smoke, it can be, and its 
movements noted, the changing slant of its rays 
from day to day. There are ice and snow, and all 
the forms of water, immediately open to observa- 
tion. In botany, all vegetation offers itself to the 
teacher. Pots of flowers may be put in the win- 
dows, if nothing else. Excursions to the woods 
and plains may be taken. Animal life may also Zoology, 

be studied everywhere, — from the domestic cat to 
the horses that draw heavy loads through the 
streets. But when we come to Ethnology and 
History, the means of observation and experience History, 

are most abundant. School life furnishes countless 
opportunities for .the most instructive experiences. 
If the school is a model school, a pure democracy, if 
the children are trained to govern themselves, then 
observations of the best form of government, its 
failures and successes, are ever before the pupils. 
The observations and judgments of the children 
are to be enhanced by the presence and direction 
of the teacher. 

I know very well Avhat answer could be made by That which is of 
teachers to these demands for the continual study ™°^*j^^®^^^^^^** 
of elementary science, and to the assertion that 
bountiful means are at command for such study. 
The present difficulty is in the way of public 
opinion, the demand in education being fo;- some- 
thing mysterious, — something supposed to be found 
within the lids of the text-book. I presume this 
will be a common experience with all teachers who 
have tried to develop the observing powers of 
children. In a country school, surrounded with 


170 Talks on Pedagogics. 

the bounties of nature in the way of lands, woods, 
vegetation, and animal life, if the teacher should 
actually take the children out into the fields during 
school sessions, and should study upon the farm that 
which is of the most importance for the farmer to 
know, should undertake to study something about 
the soils, fertilization, something of the insects in- 
jurious to fruits and trees, something of meteo- 
rology, or of drainage, — the result would be that 
the parents of the children would rise in indigna- 
Kew-fangied no- tion and try to crush such "new-fangled notions." 
This fact has been true from the beginning, that 
that which is really best and sweetest and most use- 
ful to the people is that which they have everlast- 
ingly opposed and denied as true and right. 

But we must go farther, and ask why the people 
reject that which is the best. Th§ answer is not far 
to seek. They themselves are the products of text- 
book learning, and their judgments are entirely 
governed by the prejudices induced by the restric- 
tions of their own education. They cannot see that 
the child can be bound to the home farm through 
love for nature ; that love for agriculture will come 
by closer observation; they cannot see that the 
children glide away to the towns and cities and be- 
come clerks behind the counters upon this sliding 
platform built of text-books. 

Education can be made so much better, so much 
richer in means and influence and breadth, by mak- 
ing observation the foundation. I have tried to 
present some arguments in favor of the study of 
elementary science, and, in conclusion, allow me to 
turn to an authority which many will accept and 
few deny, — to the argument of all arguments : 

Observation. 171 

" The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: 

The testimony of the Lord is sure, makiug wise the 

The statutes of the Lord are light, rejoicing the heart: 

The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the 

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: 

The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous alto- 

More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much 
fine gold: 

Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 

Moreover, by them is thy servant warned: 

And in keeping of them there is great reward. 

Who can understand his errors? 

Cleanse Thou me from secret faults. 

Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins; 

Let them not have dominion over me : 

Then shall I be upright. 

And I shall be innocent from the great transgression." 

There is only one study, and that study is the one study, 
law; the conversion of the soul is through the 
knowledge of the law gained by the personal experi- 
ence and insight which comes from self-activity. 
The ideal is that there is a perfect law, that the 
study of that law " rejoiceth the heart," that the 
law, when found by the soul's search, is " sweeter 
than honey and the honeycomb." The Psalmist is 
alive and aware of the dangers that beset a soul 
that is not in touch with truth: "Who can under- 
stand his errors ? Keep back Thy servant from 
presumptuous sins." The isolated study of text-, 
books has for its main product the presumption, 
" not of brains," but of knowledge— a self-satisfac- 
tion which is a bar to all future development. 
True humility, that poverty of spirit which has for Humility. 

its gain the " Kingdom of Heaven," can only come 

172 Talks on Pedagogics. 

to the one who gains some apprehension of the 
boundlessness of knowledge and of the depths of 
truth by actual personal experience. The highest 
product of observation, and that which no other 
study and no other work will bring, is some idea of 
the infinity of knowledge and the finiteness of man ; 
out of these conclusions alone comes the knowledge 
of the true attitude and righteous progress of man 
toward the truth and toward God. 
" For He made us in His own image." 

Language and Hearing-Language. 473 



In the history of education the discussions of Relation of 
the principles and methods of teaching hmguage, thought to lan- 
especially methods, occupy by far the largest place : ^^^^^" , 
this is true of language from the days when the 
Humanists held universal sway up to the present 
time. The relations of language to the evolution 
of the human race are of the closest nature: so 
close, that some psychologists, notably Max Miiller, 
strive to prove that there can be no thought with- 
out language. Whether this be true or not, there 
can be no question that language is by far the 
most prominent factor in education. 

The relation of language to the people who jj^j^^-^j^ ^^^ ^^^ 
speak it and whose ancestors created it is similar tody to the mind, 
to the relation of the mind to the body, and, in- 
versely, the body to the mind. It is a well-recog- 
nized fact that the attitude and bearing of the 
body and its gestures are marked indications of 
the mind's character and influence. Thought con- 
trols, modifies, and develops or degrades physical 
organs and physical power. 

Emotions of difl'erent kinds set in action iii vol- Effect of emo- 
untarily the whole body : Joy is easily recognized tions. 
by the attitude, bearing, and inflections of the 
body, the particular state of the mind out of which 
it arises, modifying the action of the whole organ- 
ism. Fear has its strong influence, checking 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Iiilluence of the 
body upon the 

The mind creates 
the hody. 

nerve currents and contracting muscles. Each 
emotion, either of pain or pleasure, influences in a 
marked degree nerve and muscular action. A 
person in a state of constant merriment has a 
characteristic bearing; one controlled by continual 
despair has a characteristic bearing; one anim.ated 
by hate of mankind carries the indications of this 
hatred in every muscle. It is past all question that 
every emotion has its corresponding effect upon 
the body, influencing the growth and development 
of physical power. 

The sensorium, muscular system, and sympa- 
thetic nerves all contribute to the most effective 
act of attention, enhancing the thought. Acts of 
educative attention are in essence a means of 
physical training which insures the higher develop- 
ment of the body as an instrument of attention. 

In expression, the use of the body is more pro- 
nounced than in attention. The agents of expres- 
sion are continually modified by the various mus- 
cular adjustments necessary to expressive acts. 

In pure reflection, the body is not immediately 
used as an instrument of reception, but still indi- 
cates mental states. Its bearings or attitudes are 
best adapted to the mental effort necessary to re- 
flection, in which state all receptive and executive 
action of the organism is suspended until the par- 
ticular line of action has been determined. In 
other words, there is no absolute inertia of the 
body in any mental acts. 

The mind to a marked extent creates the body; 
every fibre of the brain, every nerve tract, every 
bundle of muscles, — indeed, all the organs of the 
body, strongly indicate the influence of the mind 
upon the body. This is true of each individual; 

Language and Hearing-Language. 175 

but each individual is only one of a series of indi- 
viduals coming into the world with a body that is 
to a great extent the product of ancestral develop- 
ment. The mind is continually creating the body. 

The relation of a language to a people who The relation of 

created it has much the same relation as has the ^^"^,1^^^ *° ^ 


body to the mind. A language is a body created, 
not by one individual, but contributed to by all 
of the individual units of a people and their pro- 
genitors from the beginning. The creation or de- 
velopment of language is an absolute necessity 
to thought development, following the law of all 
forms of expression. The general thought of a 
people, whatever the degree of civilization to 
which it has arrived, is indicated by the language 
of that people. A dialect is generally recognized Dialect defined, 
as a case of arrested development. It is not an 
idiosyncrasy or eccentricity: it is simply an indica- 
tion that a people who use the dialect has not kept 
pace in its development with the higher civiliza- 
tion of the race who use a common language. 

It is impossible to trace any language back to The origin of 
its origin; but the beginnings of language, it is language, 
not impossible to suppose, sprang from the crude 
necessities of a race just emerging into something 
like intelligence. Every word, no doubt, sprang 
from the immediate necessity of thought. Every 
idiom marked a peculiar phase of thought. Every 
'modification of subject or predicate indicated a 
step in human progress. As in the past, so in the 
present, new inventions, discoveries, explorations, 
not to consider newly awakened perceptions of 
being and feeling, make demands for new words 
or old words with new meanings. In languages 
like the German, the original language of the peg- 


Language indi- 
cates civilization. 


Language indi- 
cates environ- 

pie serves them in usiugold words with changed 
and higher meanings; while in English the source 
of new words is found in the Greek, Latin, and 
other languages. 

It is not my purpose to give a general indication 
of how language is developed, but to show the 
close relation of the growth of a language to the 
growth of a people. A language in itself indicates 
better than any other means the exact stage of the 
growth and civilization of the people who speak it. 
A geologist reads in a characteristic area of the 
earth's surface the geological history of that sur- 
face. This fact has a far deeper significance 
when applied to language. Although philology is 
a comparatively new science, yet as a means of 
studying the spiritual life and growth of a people 
it is incomparable. Ruins and implements give 
fleeting, disconnected insight into a people's his- 
tory; but the language of a people, the tracing of 
even one word back to something like a supposed 
origin, is a vista in the life of that people. 

The language also indicates the environment of 
a people. When it was found that in Sanscrit 
there were no names for animals of Asia that live 
in the Oxus basin, it was taken as a proof that the . 
Aryan race did not have its origin there. A lan- 
guage is the ethnographic body of a people, re- 
flecting the life and thought of that people, from 
the beginning. Just as the nerve tracts and 
muscular co-ordinations of the body indicate the 
growth of the mind of an individual, so do the 
words, idioms, and syntax of a language indicate 
the development and growth of the assembled 
mind of a race. 

The one insuperable argument in favor of the 

Language and Hearing-Language. 177 

educative value of dead languages is, that in no Value of the study 

other way can the spirit, the genius, and the inner °^ "^^^* languages. 

history of a people be so thoroughly understood as 

in a language. The Greek language, for instance, Greek. 

is the body that remains to us of a departed soul, 

showing what that soul was on this earth — how 

it struggled and grew, what its imaginations, its 

religions, its aspirations, and its victories were. 

Greek history can be best understood through 

its language. The study of a language, dead or 

living, is a study of the human spirit. This 

fact gives us the method and motive for the study. 

The study of dead forms, whether in our own 

vernacular or in a language of the past, is of the 

lowest educative value; but the study of a dead 

language that has for its sole aim the revival of 

pictures long gone by, an understanding of the 

inner life of the people once using it, what they 

thought, how they struggled, how they conquered 

or failed, gives the student an impulse in the right 

direction, and determines the method by which all 

languages should be learned — the method which 

arouses the deepest interest and attains the most 

valuable results. 

The literature of any language contains in itself Relation of litera- 
the history of the highest life of the people. The *""« *° ^^^''''^^ 
loftiest aspirations of the Italians we get from 
Dante, of the Romans from Virgil and Horace, of 
the Greeks from Homer and Xenophon. Because 
the methods of the Humanists consist, in general, ' '. 

of empty formalism, because much of the study of 
modern language, and even our own, is of the same 
nature, the direct inheritance of our pedagogical 
ancestors, because language has been taught 
with the least educative effect, — present no valid 

178 Talks on Pedagogics. 

reasons why the study of dead or living languages 
should be discarded. A knowledge of each and 
every language which has poured its flood of words 
into English speech reveals to the learner the 
otherwise'hidden might of his own vernacular, and 
enhances greatly his power of thought and expres- 
sion. " A modern language is the mirror in which 
one sees his own language." Are not the unscien- 
tific and therefore extravagant methods of teach- 
ing languages the reason why so many students, 
after years of drill in dead forms, know so little of 
what they have tried to study ? 
How a child learns It may be well for us to glance for a moment at 
anguage. ^j^^ method by which a child learns the spoken 

language. The subject should be of deep interest 
to teachers, especially under the teachings of 
Preyer, Perez, Darwin, Taine, Eomanes, and other 
scientists who have assisted so materially in this 
direction. In the first place, a child makes his 
own language — a language of gesture, a language 
of babblings, which has its vague but significant 
meaning to the child. Then comes the language 
that he hears spoken around him. What are the 
difficulties that a child has to overcome in learn- 
ing this language ? Because every child learns 
the language with such ease, we are apt to think 
that the difficulties are slight. 
Hearing: -langruagfe I am now discussing how a child learns to hear, 
thfng^!^*^^' ^^^ ^^ ^^ understand, oral langujtge. It is true that 
hearing and speaking have exceedingly close rela- 
tions to each other, but they are two things en- 
tirely different in themselves and in acquisition; 
hearing is learned by a series of acts of attention; 
speaking, by practice in uttering thought. In any- 

Language and Hearing-Language. 179 

thing like scientific investigation the two must be 
kept separate. 

Let us consider the tremendous obstacles a child o'Jstacies which a 
, • 1 • i 1 1 child overcomes in 

must overcome in learning to hear liingnage. igarning to hear 
These difficulties may best be described by a par- language, 
tial analysis of speech. Pronunciation is the 
main factor in oral language. It may be generally 
defined as making oral words by means of the 
vocal organs. The pronunciation of a word con- 
sists of, first, the enunciation of each sound ele- 
ment; second, the articulation or uniting of the 
sounds enunciated. In articulation there is an 
imperceptible pause between two successively 
uttered sounds, and a perceptible pause between 
syllables ; third, in words of more than one sylla- 
ble inflection of voice or accent upon one of the 
syllables; fourth, a slight inflection less than 
accent, which is called rhythm, in the utterance of 
every syllable. In the analysis of pronunciation Pronunciation, 
we have enunciation, articulation, pauses — percep- arScuiaUon. 
tible and imperceptible, — accent, and rhythm. 

The second great obstacle to be overcome in 
hearing-language is the mastery of idioms. The Mastery of ioioms. 
idioms, i.e., the general arrangement of the words 
in sentences, diifer greatly in form in different lan- 
guages; indeed, the principal obstacle to be over- 
come in learning a foreign language is the idiom, 
and it is reasonable to suppose that this same diffi- 
culty confronts the child. A sentence consists of 
words related in conventional order, or syntax. 
The function of each word is to arouse certain Function of a 
definite activities; the sentence arouses these "™^°'^*^' 
activities in a certain definite relation. The idiom 
being an arbitrary and conventional relation of 
words to each other, must be acquired by the asso- 


Talks on Pedagogies'. 


elation of the thought with the conscious effect of 
the idiom. 

The foundation of the spoken language Is voice, 
or vocalized breath, modified by the organs of 
speech. The shape of the vocal cavity or the 
exact position of the organs is an indispensable 
condition for the making of definite voice elements. 
These definite qualities or voice elements depend 
upon the shape of the organs anterior to the vocal 
Articulate sonnds. chords. In the utterance, then, of a sentence we 
have articulation; the pronunciation; the relation 
of words to each other, or the syntax of the sen- 
tence; the rhythm of each syllable, which we call 
melody; and the combined rhythm of all the 
syllables, or harmony; back of this, emphasis, the 
spontaneous impulse of the voice in inflection, 
is the direct reflex of the highest impulse of the 
thought itself; force of voice which denotes the 
intensity of the being; and quality, which shows 
the kind of emotion or degree of earnestness which 
moves the speaker. Vocalized breath or voice, 
rhythm, melody, harmony, and emphasis are not 
obstructions in learning to hear language; they are 
helps spontaneously generated and understood. 

The difficulties to overcome in learning to hear 
language consists principally of pronunciation and 
idiom. Learning to hear language consists of func- 
tioning words and idioms. A word is functioned 
when it acts upon consciousness and arouses in- 
stantly certain definite activities — activities which 
the word was made to arouse. The activities 
which a word when functioned arouses in con- 
sciousness we shall call a])propriafe aciivities. The 
Law by wMch general law of association may be stated as follows : 
words are learned. ^rj^Q^ ^^^^^ activities, either simple or complex, 



Language and Hearing-Language. i8i 

immediately succeed each other in consciousness^ 
the after appearance of one of these activities has 
a tendency to recall the other. The particular law 
relating to functioning of words is: When the 
mental correspondence of the word is immediately 
succeeded by its appropriate activities, or vice 
versa, the reappearance of the correspondence to 
the word has a tendency to recall its appropriate 
activities, or vice versa. 

An oral word, through the ear, arouses its cor- Appropriate 
respondence in consciousness, and tliis correspond- ^*^*^'*'^*^^^* 
ence in turn arouses certain activities, which I 
call appropriate activities, in contradistinction to 
corresponding activities. A word that merely 
arouses its correspondence without any further 
effect in consciousness is not functioned. The 
law for the functioning of every word may be 
stated under the general law of association. Two 
activities must immediately succeed each other: 
the first activity is the effect of the word, or 
its correspondence; the second activity is the 
appropriate activity. When these two activities Law restated, 
immediately succeed each other in consciousness, 
the appearance of one thereafter has a tendency 
to recall the other. There is no other law by 
which a word can be learned. Words are learned 
by acts of association, — the association of the effect 
of the word itself with the appropriate activities, or 
the activities which it was made to recall. A word 
is learned by repetition of these acts of association. 
The less the intensity of the act, the greater the Relation of inten- 
number of repetitions, and, conversely, tlie more^^*^*""^^*^*^""* 
intense the acts of association, the fewer the num- 
ber of repetitions necessary. 

The intensity of these acts of association with 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

children, we will grant, depends entirely upon iu- 
interest. terest. That interest is aroused by a desire to un- 

derstand what other people are saying. There is 
no interest in the effect of the word itself; the 
interest is entirely dependent upon the emotions 
aroused by the appropriate activities which the 
correspondence to the word recalls. We have 
briefly stated the difficulties which children must 
surmount in learning to hear language, and also 
the action of the law by which the difficulties 
must be overcome. Each word is made by itself, 
each sound, in an oral word is made by itself, and 
must really be heard by itself; still the process of 
mentally synthetizing these sounds is perfectly 
The cMid con- automatic. The child is vaguely conscious of the 
word! oily! ''''"^'effect of the word as a whole, and although the 
sounds are continually uttered in his presence, he 
never makes an attempt unprompted to analyze 
an oral word into its component parts. A word 
acts instantaneously like any other object, and 
acts as a whole. 
lUustrations. Tio illustrate this point : an object is presented 

to the child, — a doll, or a dog. An immediate in- 
terest, or emotion of pleasure, is aroused in con- 
sciousness by the presence of the object; the child 
has activities appropriate to the word at the same 
time the word " doll," or " dog," is spoken. The 
conditions of the act of association are perfect, and 
the associative act takes place in consciousness. 
The greater the interest of the child, the more in- 
tense, and therefore the more effective, the act. 
The child must first have the appropriate activities 
in his mind to be brought into consciousness, and 
the effect of the word must be there in immediate 
succession. Thereafter, if the act of association 

Language and Hearing-Language. 183 

is an effective one, when the word "doll" or 
" dog " is spoken the appropriate activities come 
into consciousness. 

Idioms are learned in mnch the same way. The How idioms are 
difference is that the effect of the idiom is to^^**""^^" 
unite conscious activities in immediate succession ; 
as, "A dog runs," — which idiom unites the idea of 
dog with the motion of the dog. 

The child begins to hear language long before 
he begins to speak. He begins instinctively and 
spontaneously to follow the law. Parents have 
intuitively a method of teaching children to hear 
language. They make no attempt whatever to 
divide the oral word into its component sounds. 
They understand perfectly that if the child is at- 
tentive and deeply interested in an object it will 
have no difficulty in learning its name. 

Under this law and under these general rela- Relation of words 
tions the great work of acquiring vocabulary and ^° *'^*"'^^** 
idioms begins with the child. First a few words 
are learned,— the names of objects in which he 
is immediately interested: "mamma," "papa," 
" cat," " dog," and so on. Then follow the words 
united into idioms, the learning of each word and 
each idiom springing directly from the necessities 
of thought, a child rarely ever remembering a 
word which has failed to arouse certain definite 
conscious activities. The attention of the child is 
controlled by the words which recall thought, or 
by the desire to know the name of an object. 

We look upon the common fact of a child's What a chUd 
learning the language in two or three years ^Syg^^""^ ** 
something very natural, always to be expected, • 
and having in itself nothing of the marvellous; 
yet when we study the matter closely and compare 

1 84 

it with some of the methods used later in school, 
it is indeed a wonderful process of mental action. 
A child acquires in three years the foundation of 
his own vernacular: the pronunciation and funda- 
mental idioms of the language are in this com- 
paratively short time within his power. There do 
not seem to be any great obstructions in the way; 
every step is met and overcome with great ease. 
How parents teach Parents never attempt to teach words which 
children to hear are not needed for immediate use; that is, words 
that are not directly associated with appropriate 
activities. The language which a child acquires 
is adapted to the immediate necessities of thought; 
thus a certain body of language becomes his own, 
to be used in hearing and expression. The lan- 
guage conforms to the thought; thought and 
speech become a unit in hearing and in speaking. 
Adaptation of Ian- The simplicity or complexity of the sentences a 
guage to thought. Qh[\(]^ learns to use depends upon the simplicity or 
complexity of his thought. When this wonderful 
process is explained to teachers, and it is presented 
to them as an examjile of what Spontaneity will 
do for the child, the answer often comes, " This 
is natural," "The child learns that naturally." 
Use of the word This word "natural," like charity, covers a 
"natural." multitude of sins— a multitude of sins of igno- 

rance. It may be well for us to look at the word 
in its true significance, or in its scientific applica- 
tion. There is a vast difference between that 
which becomes natural through habit, and that 
which is according to nature. The word natural 
can have no scientific meaning other than con- 
formity to the laws of the being. Teaching is the 
presentation of conditions for the normal or 
lawful action of the mind. That teaching is most 

Language and Hearing-Langtiage. 185 

natural which is best adapted to the laws of mental 
action. If, then, the child learns to hear the oral 
language naturally, by conforming to the laws of 
its own being, why should he not continue the 
process by the same method ? Why should he not 
learn the written language and all other lan- 
guages by conforming to an immutable law of the 
human mind ? 

The forms, correct and incorrect, of language imitation, 

are acquired almost entirely by imitation. What- 
ever of speech a child hears at home, in the street, 
and in society he imitates; he forms strong habits 
of language, good or bad, which it is well nigh 
impossible later in life, even under the best teach- 
ing, to wholly eradicate. All this imitation of 
language, it must be remembered, is acquired and 
controlled by a desire to understand and express 
thought; there is little or no copying of meaning- 
less words; the child has a motive in his acts, and 
adheres tenaciously to that motive. 

The child when he enters school has learned How should lan- 
more of language than he ever afterwards cvLn^^^^^^^^f^l 
learn. How shall his knowledge of, and power cMid enters 
over, language be enhanced? By the same^*^^°°^^ 
natural method he has pursued so assiduously and 
successfully for six years ? Or shall a new method 
be introduced which has for its basis the hypothe- 
sis that forms of speech must be learned for 
form's sake, unrelated and not impelled by the 
immediate necessities of thought ? Shall an un- 
natural method be begun when he enters the por- 
tals of the schoolhouse ? Shall his language, his 
sentences and their modifications, grow with the 
growth of thought, conform to thought, be adapted 
to thought, arouse thought ? Or shall words be 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Langruage should 
conform to 


How shall Gram- 
mar be taught ? 

Uses of language. 

learned by themselves and for themselves, with a 
vague belief on the part of his teacher that at some 
futnre time he may have the thought necessary for 
their use ? Is it possible to enhance this magnifi- 
cent spontaneous product by continuing the same 
method in teaching; that is, adapting language to 
the conditions of mental growth ? Is it possible 
to make thought development the centre and adapt 
the teaching of language to every step in thought ? 

The child has been unconsciously learning the 
forms of language, including etymology and syn- 
tax, from the beginning; that he should continue 
the study of grammar is beyond doubt. A very 
serious question is: How should he continue this 
most important branch of knowledge ? Is grammar 
also to be taught as a special subject, isolated 
from all other subjects ? Must the knowledge of 
language outgrow the necessities of thought with 
the supposition that it will some day be needed 
when perchance thought is evolved ? Or, on the 
other hand, can grammar be made the warp and 
woof of language which springs directly from 
thought, under the strong impulses to hear and to 
express thought ? Shall it be spun and woven by 
itself without regard to inner necessities or with- 
out direct adaptation to the activities of conscious- 
ness ? 

There are two fundamental uses of language 
and the grammar of language. The first is to en- 
hance, to deepen and to broaden the understanding 
of speech and printed language ; the second is to 
make language, both spoken and written, an ade- 
quate means for the expression of thought : both 
motives are a unit in the action and reaction of 
language, in the intensification of conscious activi- 

Language and Hearing-Language. 1S7 

ties. Hearing, reading, speaking, and writing are 
the formal modes of learning language; the ques- 
tion is, then, can the power to use language, and 
at the same time correct habits of language, be 
acquired by a continuous and complete union 
with intrinsic thought ? 

The purely formal studies of the past have No necessity for 

been in a great degree a stern and awful neces- ''""^^^ ^°^™^ 

sity; there was little else to teach besides spell- 
ing, copy-writing, parsing, analysis, and construc- 
tion. It is only within a few years, compara- 
tively, that abundant means of thought evolution 
have been brought to the doors of the school- 
room; new-born sciences, a real geography, and a 
reformed history, — all are ours to use as the high- 
est conditions of human development. The neces- New conditions of 
sity for the extravagant waste of time and energy education. 
is gone forever. These magnificent subjects, full 
of sweetness and light, rich with divine thought 
and power, have come to the doors of the school- 
room. Shall they enter ? 

[S8 talks on Pedagogics. 



Reading as a mode Reading is a mental process. It consists of a 
sequence of mental activities immediately caused 
or induced by the action of written or printed 
words arranged in sentences. I propose to discuss 
the psychology and pedagogics of reading as a 
mode of attention. Oral reading is a mode of ex- 
pression, and comes under the head of speech. 
Many of the grossest errors in teaching reading 
spring from confounding the two processes of at- 
tention and expression. Reading in itself is not 
expression any more than observation or hearing- 
language is expression. The custom of making 
oral reading the principal and almost the only 
means of teaching reading has led to the many 
errors prevalent to-day. 

Readinir not to te Observation is thinking; hearing-language is 

wSreadinJ"^ thinking; reading is thinking; and in anything 
like a reasonable discussion of the psychological 
nature of reading the subject of oral reading must 
be referred to its proper place as a mode of ex- 

Value of reading. Reading in itself has no educative value; it does 
not give rise to a succession of educative acts any 
more than does seeing, hearing, or touching. The 
value of reading in education depends entirely 
upon the educative subject presented, and upon 

Reading. 189 

the intensity of tlie conscious acts. Ordinary 
reading, then, is not educative. It may consist of 
a succession of conscious states witliout any appre- 
ciable degree of intensity ; it may consist of intense 
immoral states degrading to the mind: in a word, 
reading in itself is not moral, neither does it neces- Reading: in itself 
sarily induce educative action. Keading may lead "^"^ ™°"^" 
to the pollution of the soul; or, under the right 
conditions, it may be made the means of its highest 
development and elevation. The educative value The educative 
of reading, tlien, depends (1) ujwii what is read;^^^°^* 
(2) upon how it is read. 

AVith these very important modifications in view Reading the 
it is readily seen that reading in itself may be educationf*^ 
made, next to observation, the greatest factor in 
education. Reading opens all the historical rec- 
ords of the past, all the discussions and discov- 
eries that have been made throughout the ages. By 
reading, poetry and literature may become essen- 
tial means of human growth. Here I wish to re- 
peat what I have already said in discussing atten- 
tion : a reader does not think the thought of an Reading not get- 
author, he simply thinks his own thought. By *^^^^*J^^*'^*^'""^ 
the action of words upon the mind ideas arise 
above the plane of consciousness; individual con- 
cepts and judgments that have formerly been in 
consciousness reappear, and are recombined and 
associated; new units are formed and fresh judg- 
ments suggested; but the mental results of written 
or printed words upon the mind are predetermined 
by the mind itself. If it were true that reading is 
** getting the thought of an author," then we should 
have to suppose that the reader has the power to 
think as the author thinks, the same power of im- 
agination; the same power of inference, of gener- 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Reading: defined. 

ing to study. 

alization; in fact the power to follow the same 
processes of reasoning. 

_ Reading is tjiinking, and thinking depends 
ntterly npon the individual power of the mind. 
The difference between reading, and studying 
books consists entirely in the fact that the latter 
action is more intense than the former. In or- 
dinary reading, waves or states of consciousness 
succeed each other with more or less ni})idity; 
but in the study of text, states of consciousness 
Relation of read- are held under the action of the will. In reading, 
a sentence arouses a thought which is immediately 
succeeded by another, and another, and so on; in 
study, the thought aroused by the sentence is de- 
layed or hemmed in, more distinctly presented to 
the ego, and therefore intensified by the action of 
the will. The result of this hemming in and in- 
tensification is a more vivid imagination, and conse- 
quently more valuable inferences. Ordinary read- 
ing is the essential preparation for study, as the 
exercise of the senses is for observation. 

The psychology of reading, and at the same time 
of study, plays such an immense part in education, 
that its comprehension is a prime necessity. 

A written or printed word has one function and 
one only, and that function is to arouse or recall 
into consciousness certain definite and related ac- 
tivities—activities which the word was made to 
recall; in other words, those activities which, by 
convention, are assigned to the action of the word 
itself. A word is an object: it has length, 
breadth, thickness, and weight; it is made up of 
parts; it acts upon consciousness by the same law 
and in precisely the same general manner that 
any other object acts; it acts instantaneously 

Function of read 

A word Is 

Reading, 191 

through the nerve tracts of sight; it is the cause . 
of an effect in consciousness, which effect, as with 
other objects, corresponds to the object that 
caused it. Any and all printed words act in the 
same way, producing an effect or mental corre- 

This mental correspondence of a word has no correspondence of 
value in itself; it is merely and solely a means to*'*^"^'^* 
an end. When the word is functioned, its effect 
in consciousness, or its correspondence in con- 
sciousness, recalls certain definite activities. These 
activities may be called appropriate activities. 
The term appropriate activities has but one rela- 
tion, namely, to the word which was made to recall 
the activities. The correspondence to any object, 
for instance to a word, is the immediate effect of 
the word in consciousness. The ap]3ropriate activ- 
ities are recalled by the correspondence of the word 
to itself. 

I have said that each word, by means of its cor- The word and the 
respondence in consciousness, recalls certain defi-^^^*^""^*' 
nite activities. Certain words, nouns for instance, 
either common or proper, arouse definite activities 
which are not of necessity immediately related to 
other activities. Other classes of words, such as 
conjunctions, prepositions, adjectives, adverbs, and 
verbs, have for their function the arousing of cer- 
tain definite activities in immediate relation to 
other activities; that is, their effects have only a 
suggestive relation to other activities. Thus we 
have the sentence consisting of subject and predi- 
cate and modifiers of the subject and predicate. 
The sentence arouses certain definite activities in 
relation each to the other. We say that a sentence 
aronses complete thought in consciousness; but 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

study of psychol- 

action of a word. 

this statement is hardly sufficient, as many a sen- 
tence does not arouse complete thought, but is 
immediately related to the thought which precedes 
or to that which follows it. 

If you wish to study psychology there is scarcely 
a better way than to have some one write words 
upon the blackboard and try to account for the 
presence of activities in consciousness caused by 
the words thus written. The arrangement of 
words in sentences or syntax of language, is an 
arbitrary relation. The idiomatic relations, we all 
know, differ in a marked degree among different 
languages. The idioms are generally learned in 
hearing-language, and the habit of mind which 
induces the proper action of an idiom is easily 
formed in the child's effort to understand oral 
language. In printing or writing the English lan- 
guage the arrangement of sentences is from left 
to right ; in other languages it may be from right 
to left, up or down ; thus the order of arrangement 
is arbitrary. 

In the reading of a sentence the related words 
arouse a certain state of consciousness, or a se- 
quence of associations. The arrangement of the 
words in a sentence recalls in consciousness ideas 
or conscious activities in a certain, definite, related 
order. The first action of words, whether isolated 
or in sentences, is precisely the same as the action 
of objects upon consciousness; but the function of 
words, more strictly speaking, is to recall certain 
appropriate activities — activities appropriate to the 
words, themselves. The action, too, like the action 
of all objects upon consciousness, is instantaneous. 
In observation the action is continuous, but in 
reading, when the word has performed its function, 

Reading. 193 

it is of no more immediate use: it is therefore of 
the utmost importance that words act instantane- 
ously, that they in no way obstruct the action of 
the mind, that they simply and easily perform 
their function, and that there be no absorption of 
the mental power in the forms of the words them- 

Teaching reading consists entirely in the presen- Functioning: of 
tation on the part of the teacher of the conditions ^°^^^' 
for the functioning of words. This is true not 
only with the little child, but it is just as true in 
all stages of human development, and pertains 
quite as much to foreign languages, ancient or 
modern, as it does to one's own vernacular. 

It is the question of questions for those who 
teach reading, and in fact for all teachers of lan- 
guage. What is the law by which each and every 
word is functioned ? The general law, the law upon The law by which 

which fundamentally all recollection and remem-f'^^''^y^°*"^^® 

•^ learned, 

brance depends, may be stated as follows : When 

two activities, either simple or complex, follow 
each other immediately in consciousness, the re- 
appearance of one of these activities in an after 
state of consciousness has a tendency to recall or 
arouse the other.* 

Associated activities are those which follow each 
other in immediate succession. Now from this 
general law we deduce the particular law by which 
printed words are functioned. The activities 
which are to immediately succeed each other are, 
first, the effect of the correspondence to the word 
itself; and second, the approj^riate activities. The 
law, then, for functioning words may be stated as 

* Already given in tlie discussion of Hearing-language, 

194 Talks on Pedagogics. 

follows : The effect of tlie word or its correspond- 
ence must be succeeded immediately in conscious- 
ness by the appropriate activities which the word 
was made to arouse; or, conversely, the appropri- 
ate activities must be immediately succeeded by 
the effect of the j)rinted word upon consciousness. 
It follows that when these two activities immedi- 
ately succeed each other (the effect of the word or 
the appropriate activities), the appearance of one of 
these activities has a tendency to arouse the other 
— that is, the effect of the word when it appears in 
consciousness has a tendency to arouse the appro- 
priate activities; and when the appropriate activi- 
ties appear in consciousness they have a tendency 
to recall the effect of the word. 
One act of associa- I have here used the phrase, " has a tendency." 
strffidenrtoTunc- ^^ ^^^ ^°^ ^^ association were always sufficient to 
tion a word. function a word, the teaching of the first steps 

in reading would be a very easy matter indeed. 
This, we all know by experience, is not true, but 
that, as a rule, repeated acts of association are 
necessary. In fact, the whole difficulty is to bring 
about these acts of association. There is much 
desultory and promiscuous discussion in regard to 
methods of teaching reading, but no matter what 
conditions may be presented, no matter what so- 
called method may be used in teaching reading, if 
the effect of the word and the appropriate activi- 
ties are ever associated, they must be associated 
under this stated law, and can be by no other. So 
we can lay down the principle here and follow it : 
Whatever assists in acts of association,— the im- 
mediate succession of the effect of the word and 
the appropriate activities, — whatever directly as- 
sists in these acts of association, may be used in 

Reading, 195 

teaching reading; whatever does not assist should Guide in learning: 
be omitted. This principle gives us a sure guide "^^^'^°^- 
in the application of the law. 

In the violation of this principle the chief suf- 
ferers are the children, to whom unnatural condi- 
tions are presented, which obstruct the action of 
the law by which every word must be learned. 

Following out this fundamental principle, we 
can make the following statements of other and 
subsidiary principles : 

(1) Every printed word must be learned by one Principles, 
or more acts of association. 

(2) The less the number of acts required to func- 
tion a word, the greater the economy. 

(3) The greatest economy in learning a word 
would be, therefore, one act of association. 

AVe can say, then, that that teaching is best which 
presents conditions by which a word is learned by 
one act, or in one state of consciousness. We seek, 
therefore, for conditions that will bring about 
those acts of consciousness by which a word may 
be most economically learned. 

First, in this discussion, we turn to the Avord me word the oij- 
and its effect upon consciousness; and we can con- ^^^'^^^ ^^ ^^ "'^^'^" 
fidently affirm that the effect of a word upon con- 
sciousness in itself arouses no pleasant or agreeable 
emotions in the child's mind, except, perhaps, by 
anticipation. A word in itself is a repellent ob- 
ject to the child's mind. I do not mean by this 
that a child particularly dislikes the effect of a 
word, but that he is indifferent to its action. On 
the other hand, it may be as confidently stated, if 
the child liked a word, if the effect of the word 
were pleasant to the child, if it aroused his interest, 
or, in other words, induced pleasing emotions, read- 



Talks on Pedagogics. 

Siort sketch of 
the history of 
teaching: reading, 

ing, as Dogberry says, would come " by natiir." 
Were there no resistance on the part of the words, 
the child would learn the pure symbols, the printed 
words, with the same ease that he learns the par- 
tial symbols of pictures and models. 

We can turn to the history of methods of teach- 
ing reading for instruction in this direction. In 
the first attempts to teach reading, the alphabet 
method, pure and simple, no doubt was used: the 
drudgery consisted in learning the names of letters 
and afterwards combining them by oral spelling. 
A suspicion was aroused that this seemingly nec- 
essary toil might be lightened by interest. The 
Romans carved the letters in ivory; Basedow, the 
Alphabet method. Philanthropin, made the alphabet in gingerbread, 
and rewarded successful attempts at naming the 
letters with delicious bites, — a sugar-coating to a 
bitter pill. AVe have had countless primers full 
of gorgeously colored initial letters as baits, — "A 
is for apple, so round and so sweet; B is for baby, 
so clean and so neat;" and so on, ad infinitum, 
ad nauseam. 

Another prolonged attempt to lessen the diffi- 
culties of overcoming words, is found in the so- 
called phonic and phonetic methods. The pho- 
nic method, as we all know, is over three hundred 
and fifty years old. It was at the time of its 
introduction a very profitable departure from the 
pure alphabetic method, and had its origin in 
some of the earnest minds that worked contem- 
poraneously with Martin Luther. The phonetic 
and word-building methods have all been earnest 
attempts to make the words easy and pleasant, — 
like the old device, of late revived, of comparing 
elementary sounds to the noises made by animals 

Phonic and Pho 
netic methods. 

Reading. 197 

and iu nature; the "cli" movement to tlie noise 
made by a locomotive, for instance. The struggle 
has been a long one, an earnest and an honest one, 
but has failed in any reasonable appreciation of 
the action of the mind in learning words. We are, 
on this side of the question, about where we began 
three centuries ago. Baked letters and sweetened 
sounds still " hold the fort " for artisan teachers. 

The history of another phase of the pedagogy Thought method, 
of reading is that brought about by the great re- 
former Comenius, — indeed we may give him for 
lack of further knowledge the credit of originating 
it. This movement consisted in arousing the ap- 
propriate activities in order to make the associations 
more effective. Comenius' work began in the time 
when the Humanists had complete control, and 
dead languages were nearly the sum and substance 
of all that was taught. His famous " Orbis Pic- 
tus,"* now reproduced, is open to all teachers for 

On page 1 of this book we find: "OrbisPictus." 




Invitation. Invitatio." 

[Here a picture of a teacher with his finger beckoning, 

inviting the boy who stands before him, hat in hand.] 

" The Master and tlie Boy. Magister et Puer. 

M. Come, Boy, learn to be M. Veni, Puer, disce sapere. 

B. What doth this mean, P. Quid hoc est, sapere? 
to be wise ? 

M. To understand rightly. M. Intelligere recte," etc. 

* Published by C. W. Bardeen, Syracuse, N. Y. 

198 Talks on Pedagogics. 

On page 3, opposite a picture of a crow : 
" Comix cornicatur, — 
The Crow crieth." 

Opposite the picture of a lamb: 

" Agnus balat, — 

The lamb blaiteth.' 

This, as I have said, was an attempt made by 
the great reformer Comenius to associate the 
appropriate activities and the word by means of 

This device, which is the supposed beginning 
of the so-called thought method of teaching, has. 
continued down to our time, principally by the use 
of pictures; nearly all First Headers have fol- 
lowed this plan. 

It was found, however, by inquiring teachers, 
that the object itself aroused the appropriate ac- 
tivities more vigorously than the picture; and in 
" Normal Worter- the "Normal Wurter-Methode " we find objects 
Methode." freely used, and some special methods named 

after the object which is first used,— as for in- 
stance, the " Ei-Methode," so called because an 
egg is used in the first step. It is safe to say that 
all along the line on both sides, overcoming the 
obstacle of the word and the arousing of appro- 
priate activities, there have been countless methods, 
and that these methods have been converging and 
combining at every step. 
Word method. The so-called word method was the first recog- 

nition of the plain and simple psychological fact 
that a word acts as a whole just like any other 
object, instantaneously, and that there is no in- 
stinctive attemi:)t on the part of the child to 
analyze the word into its parts, or to associate it 

Reading. 199 

consciously with its corresponding oral word. 
Any attempt at analysis, at first, weakens the action 
of the word, is entirely unnecessary, and at the 
same time unnatural. To J. Russell Webb and 
Dr. Gallaudet we owe much in this important step caiiaudet, Webb, 
of the word method. To Geo. F. Farnham we^^^^- 
owe another great step, and that is a re-presenta- 
tion of the thought method, or the association of 
tlie thought which a sentence arouses to the re- 
lated words themselves. The work of Mr. Farn- 
ham is pregnant with possibilities for the eco- 
nomical teaching of the first steps in reading. 
- I have very briefly indicated some of the strug- 
gles to find the way to the best method of teach- 
ing reading, many of which have been steps in 
progress, while others have simply gone back to 
the starting-point. The work of Comenius, fol- 
lowed by that of Gallaudet, Webb, and Farn- 
ham,* has been a tendency in the right direction. 
The ideal method has not yet been attained; it 
can be reached only by a complete application of 
the law under which all associations are made. 

It must be established in all thinking minds 
beyond peradventure that pleasurable emotion 
must come from the arousing of appropriate activ- 
ities; that the difficulties may be overcome by the 
association of the word with the appropriate activ- 
ities under the white heat of thought; and that 
the question left for us to decide is. How can the Emotions of pleat 
mental result of the appropriate activities be made °" aroused by 
most effective? Intensity of mental action con- tivities. 
sists in the holding of mental states in suspension — 

* German teachers, Graser, Bohme, and others, have 
worked very effectively iu this direction. 

200 Talks on Pedagogics. 

the hemming in, so to speak, of a mental state for 
the educative action of the ego. 
The will. There is one cause of educative action, the will. 

The will may be controlled by present interest in 
the act itself or by anticipated pleasure. With 
the child, immediate pleasure must be the all- 
powerful motive of intense action; the motive must 
...terest. have for him an immediate content, interest. The 

greater the interest of the child,^the more intense 
the action. The immediate emotional effect of 
the word in itself can be, at best, anticipated pleas- 
tire; under iynmediate pleasure, however, of which 
the appropriate activities are the cause, there is 
always an intensity of action. The more intense 
the act of association, the less the number of repe- 
titions necessary for the functioning of a word. 

I have already discussed at some length the 
spontaneous activities of the child. I have shown 
that the child is a born naturalist; that he loves 
both nature and human nature; that he revels in 
Difficulties over- fancy, in the myth. I have shown that the child 
iniearnin/orai le^rns to overcome the difficulties of the oral lan- 
language. gi^'i'ge by that persistent energy which springs con- 

tinually from desire and interest. I hold that the 
difficulties in the oral language to be overcome by 
the effort of tlie child are far greater than the 
An oral word difficulties to be overcome in reading. An oral 
S°£r^?Sn ^^^^^ i^ ^'^^' "^^^'® complex than a written word. If 
word. you do not believe it, try to learn a new sound in 

some foreign language. More than that, in learn- 
ing the oral language a child overcomes a diffi- 
culty far greater than that of hearing words, — 
the idiom, or peculiar relation of words to each 
other in sentences. 

The child comes to the work of learning to read 

Reading. 26 1 

witli six years of active life; he comes with the -^jj^t a chUd 

most important part of the oral language sponta- brings to the 

neously acquired; he comes with his mind full of ^"^g^^^^^ ' " 

activities, full of experiences; he comes with the 

habit of learning language; and his everlasting 

question is, What is that ? He is never satisfied 

until he knows the name of the object which 

excites his interest. Face to face with a new 

problem, the question is, Shall he go on in the 

same way that he has already begun, or shall a new 

method, foreign to him, be introduced ? 

What is the greatest source of interest to the 
child? What does the child love best ? I may^ijj'^f/ 
seem heterodox in my statement when I say tliat 
the child loves best that which is best for him; he 
loves nature and he loves human nature. This 
statement may shock some persons who are con- • 
tinually looking upon the negative side of human 
nature, who see only the bad in humanity, whose 
commandments always begin with " Don't." The 
child is attracted, s23asmodically and ephemerally, 
it is true, to that which is bad for him; things 
which excite his sensuous nature, satisfy his hunger, 
or his desire for pleasure. A beautiful doll is but 
for the hour, and then packed away; but a doll 
which requires a long stretch of fancy to imagine 
it a human being is dear to the little girl's heart. 
The child loves ijermcmcntly the best means for 

The use of pictures and objects, as I have 
already said, is a tendency in the right direc- 
tion; but we find in the study of the central sub- 
jects, in the study of geography, physics, min- Natural science, 
eralogy, and botany, an inexhaustible source of 
pleasure and of interest. We see also that in 

Talks on Pedagogics. 

Languagre should 
grrow with the 

Unconscious ac- 

the study of these subjects there is an organic 
growth and development of thought, that the 
thought itself has an organic body, and and that 
that body is continually growing if the right con- 
ditions are used. 

And, too, the language should grow with the 
thought itself; the language should be made a 
means of arousing thought in the child's mind 
and making new units or combinations by apper- 
ception of that which is already below the plane 
of consciousness. The studies of science, myth, 
and history are of inexhaustible interest and 
pleasure to him, and at the same time they develop 
his thought in the best possible way; and when 
the thought is being developed, when the interest 
is most intense, the printed words or their effects 
in consciousness may be associated with the great- 
est ease, that is, — unconsciously associated. 

Here I meet a strong traditional objection: the 
child learniug to read the printed words only 
that spring from the immediate necessities of his 
thought would not fancy that he was learning 
to read; his parents would not think he was learn- 
ing, and the result would be dissatisfaction in 
regard to the school-work. I cannot resist here 
the temptation to lay down a rule fundamental in 
all education: That ivhich is lest in education, 
thatiuliich is lest for the tody and mind and soul, 
is uncousciousli/ acquired. 

No traditional opinion has a stronger hold upon 
many teachers and most parents than the supposi- 
tion that the pupil must be painfully aware that 
he is learning; that he must feel deeply the 
pressure of the amount of knowledge (sic) he is 
acquiring; that he should rejoice in the pages 



learned, the quautity memorized, the examinations 
passed, the promotions attained. A child skips 
home from the Kindergarten, or from the Primary 
School, and the fond parents ask, "What have 
you learned to-day?" "Nothing," is the reply; 
" I've had a good time." The despairing mother 
takes this answer in its most literal meaning, and 
seeks a school in which the weight of learning is 
measured, and progress definitely marked. No 
suspicion ever enters her head that the real indica- 
tion of progress in character-evolution is not the 
record of pages learned, but in the acquisition of 
moral power, demonstrated in habits of action. 

I come back to my point of the intense mental intense mental 
action aroused by appropriate activities. From^^ ''°' 
the time the child first enters school, the purpose 
of the teacher should be to continue in the best 
possible way the spontaneous activities of the child 
in the directions which nature has so effectively 
begun. We will suppose, then, that he has lessons, 
experiments, observations, and investigations in all 
the central subjects; that they form the core of 
the work done by the teacher; that the child's 
mind, his whole being, is brought face to face with 
the truth, — the intrinsic knowledge, — and conse- 
quently with intrinsic thought; and that at the 
moment when the word is required it is given 
orally, and at once written rapidly in a plain, 
beautiful hand upon the blackboard. I am now 
speaking from considerable experience. The child 
is interested in the appropriate activities; they 
have been aroused in his mind, they have become 
intense, and just at the right moment the word 
from the blackboard acts upon consciousness, is 
associated with the appropriate activities, and one 

204 Talks on Pedagogics. 

Writing:. act of association is sufficient for the functioning 

of the word. Not only are the words presented, 
but sentences showing what the child has dis- 
covered in experiment and investigation are also 

It will be readily granted that a theory of teach- 
ing reading which adapts in the most economical 
way the conditions for the action of mental laws 
is of the utmost importance. Taking into con- 
Time spent in sideration the vast amount of time spent in learn- 
teacMng: reading, j^^^ ^^ ^,^^^ ^^^^ ^j^^ unquestioned pedagogical value 
of reading as a means of education, an approxi- 
mately true theory of teaching the first, and indeed 
all, steps of readiug must be placed first in im- 
portance. In the history of education there are 
more theories and methods of teaching reading 
than of teaching any other subject; therefore, at 
the risk of some repetition, I will present the 
Theory of concen- theory of the method of concentration, for the 
tration. 'purpose of giving a working hypothesis for your 


First, under this theory, the entire time of the 
learners can be spent in the study of the central 
subjects. These subjects, if adapted to mental 
action, will excite and continually enhance in- 
terest. Second, the intrinsic thought developed 
will create the necessity for both spoken and written 
words and sentences, the latter to be presented to 
the child from the blackboard. Third, the teach- 
ing of reading is to be unconsciously, on the part 
of the pupils, an auxiliary to the development of 
thought; the difficulties of the written and printed 
word being overcome by the energy aroused by 
intrinsic thought. Fourth, the presentation of the 
words and sentences at the proper moment will 

Reading. 205 

serve to enhance the thought itself, because the 
printed words are made a necessity, and, as such, 
will react upon the mind and assist in mental 
action. When a sentence which has grown out of 
a child^s investigation, and has been made by the 
child itself, appears upon the blackboard aud is 
read by the child, this action cannot fail to con- 
tinue and enhance the original thought. Fifth, 
the teaching of reading in itself, the mere learning Teaching: reading: 
of words and sentences, will take no appreciable ciawe toe!*"" 
time either of the child or the teacher; thus reading 
will continually serve as a means of enhancing 

This latter proposition, I grant, is indeed a very 
strong one, and it should not be accei3ted without 
the most careful study and investigation on the 
part of teachers; but I firmly believe that the proof 
of the theory is at hand. It may be here asked why 
this theory has not been applied to any great ex- 
tent. The greatest factor, hitherto, in all teaching 
has been the study of forms under the hypothesis An old hyp: tbeds. 
that forms must be first learned by themselves for 
use thereafter in the development of thought- 
power. The history and present status of work 
under this hypothesis is well known to us as 
teachers. The hypothesis under the doctrine Hypothesis of con- 
of concentration is that each and every step *^^^t"t^°^ 
in the development of reading-power must be 
taken under the immediate impulse of intrinsic 
thought. Elementary science in primary schools 
is an innovation, and as a rule has been hither- 
to taught as a subject by itself. Many teachers 
consider it an intruder infringing ujDon the 
time of both pupils and teachers. Under the 
dpctrine of concentration, reading is subsidiary 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Reproduction of 

Transference of 


aud auxiliary to the study of the central sub- 

I have already discussed the countless opportu- 
nities for the study of the elements of science and 
of history. There is no doubt that the develop- 
ment of the mind may be made organic, that 
subjects may be learned in their relation to 
each other, developing a body of thought which 
requires at every step the adaptation of language. 
The more nearly an educational theory approxi- 
mates the truth, the greater the skill required 
on the part of the teacher; but the question to- 
day is not of skill, but of theory : Is this theory 
true ? 

I have discussed the marvelous facility with 
which the child learns and overcomes the diffi_ 
culties of the spoken language, which are without 
question greater than those of the written or 
printed language. Although a full consideration 
of the theory of thought-expression does not prop- 
erly have a place in the scientific discussion of 
theories of attention, still this exposition would be 
incomjilete without some reference to the strong 
influence of expression upon the acts of association 
required in the learning of words. The paramount 
act of expression which should follow and enhance 
acts of association is that of reproducing immedi- 
ately the word or sentence written upon the black- 
board by the teacher. The pupil sees the teacher 
write the word rapidly and beautifully. His fixed 
habit of speaking that which he thinks, and there- 
by imitating that which he sees, is carried over 
and made permanent in the habit of expressing 
thought, by writing the words he sees written. 
When the teacher writes the word, he is under 

Reading. 207 

the influence of the thought, the apj^ropriate ac- 
tivities with which the word is associated are 

We all recognize the fact that pupils, especially 
the little ones, have an overwhelming desire to 
imitate their teachers. We should know that 
children will do wonderful things spontaneously, 
unless a feeling of difficulty restrains them. It 
is easy for a skilful teacher to arouse an intense 
interest in an educative subject. Just at the mo- 
ment when the interest is at its height, she intro- 
duces a word orally, immediately writes it upon 
the blackboard, erases it, after one glance by her 
pupils, and says, " Say that with the chalk ! " The 
little ones rush to the board, under a strong desire 
to express the thought, and quickly reproduce the 
word. The first attempts may be crude, but they 
are genuine efforts and with repetition will im- 
prove. Children write words for the first time Avith 
great ease, decision, and distinctness, if the unity 
of the action is unbroken by fear. 

Most teaching of reading — in fact, teaching of Making: unneces- 
every subject — consists in presenting difficulties and ^^^ difficulties. 
impressing children with the obstacles to be over- 
come, thus stultifying their otherwise free action. 
When a child attempts to write a word under the unity of action, 
impulse of thought, the act of association is con- 
tinued, made more intense and therefore more 
effective. He makes the word that is being func- 
tioned, the word that is afterwards to act upon 
consciousness and recall its appropriate activities. 

Expressing thought by writing, the means by 
which it was received, is far more effective in its 
reflex action than is oral reading. We all agree 
to the statement that the child's attempts to 

2o8 Talks on Pedagogics. 

speak assists him in learning in the most effec- 
tive way the oral word : is this not as true of 
tlie written word ? Carry the idea further: the 
child makes discoveries by his experiments in 
physics or by his investigations in botany; he 
wishes to tell something. He tells it orally, and 
is easily induced to express the same thing in writ- 
ing. He goes to the board and tells the story of 
what he has seen. He does this with great earnest- 
ness; there is a unity of action of mind and body, 
his desire to express thought overcoming all diffi- 
culties. Pupils may thus be led to write original 
sentences, spelling, punctuating and capitalizing 
with complete accuracy. 

Naturally the question follows from the teacher. 
What have you written ? He looks at the sentence 
so fresh in his mind, and tells his teacher just 
what he has written, iu a perfectly natural tone, 
because alive and interested in the thought. 
rirst oral read- This is the proper beginning of oral reading. 
The child, as he glances along the sentences, 
may express his thought in the words he has 
already written, or he may express the same thought 
in other words. The effect of expressing his 
thought in either way, in the new words or the 
words he has himself written, is the same; that is 
to say, the oral expression of thought enhances 
the thought itself, for it is genuine, it is the im- 
mediate reflex of his conscious activities. 

The oral word plays a very important part in 
teaching the written word. The child, when he 
enters the school, has mastered oral language ade- 
quate to his own thought ; he can hear every sound 
in the language; he does not distinguish these 
sounds as separate and distinct, but hears the oral 


Reading. 209 

words as wholes, — for all practical purposes, he is 
master of them: they act instantly upon conscious- 
ness, and the approjjriate activities are aroused, — 
he knows each sound in combinations of sounds, 
or oral words. Further, he can use the various 
elements in the pronunciation of words with 
perfect ease. Still further, the words have all 
been unconsciously associated with their appro- 
priate activities — have, indeed, become a part of 
their appropriate activities ; the word recalls 
them, and, in turn, the appropriate activities re- 
call the word. Now, if the oral word would of Relation of oral 
.,,»,.., . ,-, . , language to read- 

itseli bring into consciousness the appropriate jjjg_ 

activities with a sufficient degree of intensity for 
economical acts of association when the written 
word is presented, then the use of the oral word 
would be amply sufficient for the teaching of the 
written word; the word method, pure and simple, 
which means the action of the whole word naturally 
upon consciousness, and the association of the 
written word with the oral word, would suffice for 
any step in teaching reading. But the oral word 
will not excite the appropriate activities and in- 
tensify them sufficiently for an economical associa- 
tion of the written word. The thought awakened 
by the oral word alone is not sufficiently intense, 
and the resulting action of association, there- 
fore, is weak. It is true that some oral words 
may arouse the appropriate activities so as to make 
the acts of association effective, but it is not 
generally true, and a teacher cannot rely upon the 
oral word alone to bring about these necessary 
acts. The intensity comes from such direct con- 
tact with objects in investigation and experiment 

si lb Talks on Pedagogics. 

as will arouse intrinsic and therefore interesting 
Assistance of the While the oral word has its place in arousing 
JeSMnfrSding. ^^^e appropriate activities, still there is not inten- 
sity of action sutficient to unite the written word 
with its meaning. Teaching is the presentation of 
conditions for the most economical educative 
effort. The effort of the child is directed to in- 
vestigation, to experiment, to intrinsic thought 
under the highest effort of the mind, and the 
printed words or their correspondences in con- 
sciousness are melted, fused, and blended with the 
appropriate activities. And here lies the great 
economy of conscious action: the child's whole 
mind is absorbed in that which has the greatest 
developing power, that which does him the most 
good, words coming in incidentally to help the 
mental action. These acts of association are con- 
tinued by the attempts of the child to express 
thoughtnn written words and original, written sen- 
tences. Then the child tells what he has written 
in other language than the words on the black- 
boardy or he tells the thought orally in the exact 
language he has written. These are means of en- 
hancing the thought. To repeat a fundamental 
statement, everything that economically assists in 
acts of association should be used; everything that 
does not assist in such acts should be eliminated. 

One cannot fully discuss the subject of teaching 
reading without discussing some of the arguments 
for the formal methods which have little and some- 
times no relation to the thought itself; which pro- 
pose to overcome the seeming but not real difficul- 
A, B, C method, ties of words themselves. To the A, B, C method 
very little attention need here be given, except to 

Reading. 211 

expose this very important fact: when the child 
learns painfully one letter after the other, the 
names of which have no relation whatever to the 
pronunciation of the words, the whole attention 
of the child, so far as it can be gained by the en- 
ergy, tact, and devices of the teacher, is concen- 
trated uj3on the forms of the words. By an Mental action ab- 
artificial and arbitrary method the child's power '"^"""^ ^ *°''°'- 
is sunk in the form. His whole attention, whole 
conscious action, is absorbed in the form of the 
word, and consequently the appropriate activities 
are left entirely in abeyance; there can be no act 
of association when the child's whole mental power 
is bent upon the forms of the words and the jDarts 
of the words. In this intricate formal study there 
is little or no educative mental action. No method, 
illustrates this so strongly as the A, B, C method. 
No defender of this method, and there are many, 
has ever yet tried to explain the mental effect, or 
the psychology, of learning the names of the letters. 
The alphabet method develops a fear in the child's 
mind; the struggle is to overcome certain seeming 
difficulties. The voice of the child in pronouncing Voice of the child 

the names of the letters and in combining sounds ^''^''*^*'^^*;°''f^ 

° _ wrong method. 

into words, two very distinct acts with no relation 
to each other, fully shows the uncertainty of his 
mind as with a drawl and a groan and a whine he 
utters the names of the letters and painfully pro- 
nounces the printed word. 

The phonic method, which succeeded the alpha- Pi">nic method, 
bet method, as before stated, was the first attempt 
to improve the latter method, and its value consists 
in lessening the api)arent but not real difficulties. 
The phonetic method grew out of the phonic phonetic method, 
method; it may be well here to define them 

2 1 2 Talks on Pedagogics. 

both. The child is already master of a large 
number of oral words, — can use them in express- 
ing thought with the greatest ease. In the word 
method the written word as a whole is associated 
with the oral word as a whole; the child learns 
written words precisely as he has learned oral ones. 
Phonetic methods. By the phonic method the pupil is trained directly 
and consciously to associate the separated and 
isolated elementary sounds of which the oral lan- 
guage consists, with the sej^arated and isolated 
characters of which the printed language is com- 
posed, for the purpose of developing the power of 
associating, inde2iendently, the sounds of words 
with the letters, and by this means to associate 
words with their appropriate activities without the 
direct aid of a teacher. There are two ways to as- 
sociate sounds with letters: the j&rst is indepen- 
dent of the written word, the j)upil acquiring the 
relation of sounds to letters without regard to the 
written words themselves, so that the characters of 
which a printed word is composed may recall the 
corresponding sounds, and thus enable him to 
combine the sounds into oral words; the second is 
by teaching sounds in direct relation to the printed 
words, pronouncing the words slowly or spelling 
by sound. This is, I believe, a fair statement of 
the general processes of the phonic method. 
Written EngUsh The written English language, however, is fear- 
iang:uag:e fear- f^lly ^nd wonderfully made. Its spelling or com- 
fuUy and wonder- - . \. ^ • >. i \ 4. • f :^ f 1 

fuUy made. bmations of printed characters is one 01 tne awiul 

and unnecessary obstructions in the way of Eng- 
lish-speaking children. A single sound must be 
associated with a number of characters, different 
letters, or combinations of letters. This great 
difficulty educators have sought to overcome by 

Reading. 213 

the inti'oduction of phonetic methods of teaching 
reading. Phonetic methods, like Mr. Pitman's 
and Dr. Leigh's, consist in modifications of the 
characters of the English letters so that each 
element in the English language may be associ- 
ated with a distinct but modified letter-form. A 
purely phonetic language, which so far as I 
know does not exist, would consist of each ele- 
ment having one distinct character, one letter- 
form with which it would be associated. The 
attempts of Dr. Leigh and others have been to 
change the already existing letters or printed char- 
acters so that the association may be made once 
and for all between a certain sound and a certain 

It must be granted that both methods can be 
used with great facility and great apjoarent results. Apparent results. 
A child who has nothing better to interest him 
will make out new words, however difficult, with 
marvelous ease by the skilful use of either phonic 
or phonetic methods ; but the same objection 
to the alphabet method may be applied here, 
— the child's attention is mainly directed to mak- 
ing the association between the forms of the 
printed words and the united sounds. The in- 
tense formal action of the mind, hems or pre- 
vents the appearance of the appropriate activities. 
By the use of each and all of the formal methods 
of teaching reading a fixed habit of attention 
to the forms, and the forms alone, is the inevi- 
table result. The spontaneous unity of action is unity of action 
broken, and can be regained only with the greatest ^° ^°* 
effort on the part of the victim. The miserable 
oral reading which is so common, and which elocu- 
tion hopelessly strives to overcome, is a direct 

The word method 
not a Chinese 

214 Talks on Pedagogic^. 

product of this broken unity of action. Tiie un- 
natural and monotonous tones of readers show 
that their attention is absorbed in form, and in 
form alone, — there is little or no free thought- 

An argument very commonly and effectively 
used in defence of these obstructive methods is that 
if the child learns the words as wholes he will 
never acquire the power to make out new words. 
It has even been claimed that the word method 
is a " Chinese method." Nothing can be farther 
method. from the truth than this ever-recurring stock ar- 

gument. The printed word acts upon conscious- 
ness precisely like any other object. The power 
on the part of any or all persons to recognize new 
forms or new objects, units of attributes, whose 
elements lie below the plane of consciousness, is 
beyond all doubt. The child sees a new tree or 
a new face or a new house, which he recognizes 
instantly and discriminates from all other objects. 
The same can be said of words the child has never 
seen before. The power of association or syn- 
thesis is the strongest, is indeed the fundamental, 
power of the mind, ever acting spontaneously, ever 
recognizing and classifying by means of analogies. 
This may be illustrated by learning to hear lan- 
guage. Our spoken language consists of forty- 
two (more or less) distinct elements; the same 
sounds are ever recurring in new words acting 
upon the ear. When a sound is known, the re- 
currence of that sound in any word acts in the 
same way. The child is perfectly unconscious of 
any analysis, but the law of analogy, of synthesis, 
of apperception, powerfully and persistently acts, 

Reading. 215 

and thus the power to hear words is enhanced, and 
the process becomes easier and easier. 

That which is true of the acquisition of speech 
is just as true of the acquisition of the printed 
language; whatever is spontaneously acquired in 
one form of language may be in the other. The 
word-forms of printed language consist of twenty- 
six characters. These characters are identical in 
an immense number of words, the same recurring 
in many words; the influence upon the mind of 
a familiar character in a new word is the same as in 
all the previously acquired words, precisely as the 
color red is instantly recognized in countless ob- 
jects. Thus the " Chinese" argument has no foun- 
dation in psychology. SnglSts. 

The many methods and devices — alphabet, 
phonic, phonetic, and other schemes of teaching 
the first steps in reading — which entangle pupils' 
attention in word-forms and word-analysis are ■V'*^^*^^°° *° ^°^™ 
really so many obstructions to the development action, 
of thought power, and do not economically assist 
in thinking by means of printed words. Many 
inventions sought out and applied by teachers, 
with arguments which seem to be right, are really 
devices which defy the plainest and simplest laws 
of mental action. " There is a way that seemeth 
right unto a man, but the end thereof is death.'' 
If a child, acting under the energy aroused by 
the appropriate activities, through the study and 
investigation of subjects which arouse pleasant 
emotions, can learn the word immediately on its 
presentation, and can reproduce that word rapidly 
upon the blackboard, then the question of method 
is settled. He writes words without knowing the 
names of the letters, or without being able to ana- 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

mind in educative 

Right use of phO' 

lyze them. He does it spontaneously, in precisely 
the same way that he has learned to hear and to 
speak. Every word he writes, acting nnder the 
energy of appropriate activities, strengthens the 
association and prepares him for the learning of a 
new word. The beautiful and the true fact in 
regard to the method suggested, is that the child's 
Absorption of the mind is absorbed in intrinsic, educative thought; 
the acquisition of words is incidental, but at the 
same time helpful, to the best mental action. 
Still the questions may be properly raised, cannot 
the power of the child to make independently the 
associations of new words with the appropriate 
ideas be enhanced ? Is there not a strictly peda- 
gogical use of phonics ? 

An oral word consists of one sound or a unit of 
sounds uttered or articulated in immediate succes- 
sion. In words of more than one syllable there is 
a slight perceijtible pause at the end of each sylla- 
ble, and in uttering sentences there are also per- 
ceptible pauses between the words. A syllable is 
a unit of sounds uttered in immediate succession. 
Each sound requires for its utterance a definite 
position of the vocal organs. In order to utter 
each succeeding sound, there must be a change 
in the position of the organs ; this change is 
made in time, and therefore, though the pause 
is imperceptible to the ear, there must necessarily 
be a pause between the utterance of two sounds in 
a syllable. If this imperceptible pause did not 
exist, there would be a great complexity of in- 
termediate sounds which would modify the word 
radically. That these intermediate sounds do not 
exist is proved by the fact that if the words are 
pronounced with a perceptible pause between con- 

Unity of action 
not broken. 

Reading. 217 

secntive sounds children will understand them 
readily, and will indeed perceive no difference be- 
tween the common utterance of syllables and the 
slow pronunciation.* The child has power to 
hear oral words and to utter oral words. He has 
been in full practice for -five or more years in this 
direction, -and it is certainly not unpedagogical to 
pronounce words slowly before children — that is, 
with perceptible pauses between the sounds — and 
have them immediately recognize what is said. 
By repeating these processes in the first grade 
without any association with the printed words, 
the child takes a step in ear-training which will 
enable him to relate the sounds in words slowly 

By writing words the pupil gradually and con- 
sciously discriminates the characters that make up 
the word; and by holding in his mind the oral form 
of the word and intensely associating it with the 
written characters, — a necessity in writing, — the 
elements of both forms of the word reach a stage in 
consciousness when, by a little judicious, careful 
teaching, the power of analogy— of associating power of analogy^ 
the sounds with the letters — may greatly assist in 
associating the effect or correspondence of the 
word, with the appropriate activities. Little chil- 
dren will readily understand any word when pro- 
nounced slowly, if it is done naturally ; and after 
a short practice in hearing-words they may be led 
to pronounce slowly themselves; then they will 

* The term ' ' slow pronunciation " is liere used instead 
of "spelling by sound" or "word-analysis." It is a term 
used by the Germans, who have had most to do with the 
teaching of phonics — " langsamer Aussprache." 

Talks on Pedagogics. 

pronounce in tliis way as the teacher writes slowly 
on the board. And so phonics may be effectively 
used without breaking the unity of thought and 
True use of words. It should be ever borne in mind that the real 
use of words is to arouse educative thought. 
There should be the least possible entanglement in 
the form of the word; the action of the printed 
word upon the mind should be instantaneous and 
effective. There should be the minimum atten- 
tion to the word, the minimum consciousness of 
it. No one can observe the work of pupils from 
the primary grades to the university without being 
amazed at the impotency of many to think by 
means of the printed word; the ability to really 
study text is rare, the ability to merely memorize 
words is common. 

The study of text differs from common reading 
in the intensity of those acts of the will that hem 
the flow of consciousness. Now if the child early 
forms the habit of believing that he reads when 
he pronounces words,— and by the tricks of the 
phonic, and phonetic methods he can acquire 
great facility in mere pronunciation, — there is 
great danger that he will never acquire the fixed 
habit of thinking by means of words. He will 
suppose that the pronunciation of words is read- 
ing, and afterwards, in studying, he will sup- 
pose that learning a lesson means committing 
words verbatim. This is one of the most ter- 
rible evils in all teaching — this habit of pronounc- 
ing and learning words disassociated from the 

The great benefit of the method of concentra- 


Learning: pages 

Reading. 219 

tion in teachiiig reading here presented, is that 
tlie child will never fancy that he is reading unless 
he has the thought aronsed by the words; if the 
words do not arouse the thought, he will struggle 
to that end, will never read aloud without the 
closest thinking, and will never study without the 
most intense thinking. 

One awful product of this isolated word-learn- Tie pedant, 

ing is the pedant, who fancies that he knows 
a great deal because he can recall a great num- 
ber of pages. The only valuable thing is the 
thought itself and the development of the reason- 
ing powers. Reading is accessory to these, and is 
a necessity at every step. Under the concentra- 
tion method of teaching reading, written words 
and sentences are made the immediate means of 
intensifying thought. The sentence which the 
child writes upon the blackboard, and the sentence 
which he reads from the blackboard, or from the 
printed page, immediately enhance the thought 
evolved by investigation. 

The concentration method of teaching reading xjse of reading in 
proposes still more: it proposes that reading shall «<ii'cation. 
be used from the beginning to the end in the en- 
hancement of intrinsic thought; that there shall 
be no desultory or promiscuous reading in relation 
to education. A child who learns to read properly 
will practise a great deal at home; for instance, 
he will read books, magazines, and newspaper,s, — 
and there is no objection to such reading in its 
place, — but in the school all the reading siiould be 
a direct means of intensifying, enhancing, expand- 
ing and relating the thought evolved by the study 
of the subjects. In the study of geography, de- 
scriptions of the surface-forms and the natural 

Talks on Pedagogics. 

Interest in read- 
ing continnally 

Concentration of 
reading upon cen- 
tral subjects. 

and political divisions of tlie countries, travels, and 
national literature should be read. The same can 
be said of all subjects. The reading in botany, in 
zoology, in history, — in fact, all reading, — should 
be concentrated upon the study of the central sub- 

The great economy of these suggestions is ap- 
parent. The interest in reading will be contin- 
ually strengthened, for no subject can be really 
studied without a continual growth in interest. 
The interest is excited, stimulated, and enhanced 
by the concentration of nil reading upon the cumu- 
lative processes of thought. 

Most school reading is desultory, promiscuous, 
and unrelated to the subjects taught; some of it 
is in a good sense educative; much of it void of 
sense, and of no literary value whatever. The 
proposition of the theoi'y of unification is to con- 
centrate directly all reading — first, last, and at 
every step — upon the central subjects of study in 
hand : it proposes that geography shall be enhanced 
by descriptions of countries, travels, and stories; 
that interest in science shall be kept aglow by de- 
lightful accounts of research and discoveries ; that 
history shall be illuminated by the most precious 
literature, and explained by the mythical treasures 
of the ages. When, for instance, the intensely in- 
teresting story of the first battle of the Eevolution 
is studied, the pupils shall hear "a hurry of hoofs 
in a village street," shall see "a shape in the 
moonlight, a bulk in the dark, and beneath, from 
the pebbles, in passing, a spark " which " kindled 
the land into flame with its heat." Or when the 
wonderful story of the Greeks is told, it shall be 
accompanied by the glorious lyrics of Homer. 

Reading. 221 

Literature is the flood-tide of national growth, 
and loses its power when not immediately related 
to the peoples who made it possible. 

Nothing but literature should be read by chil- 
dren. It may be difficult to define literature. 
Literature is the adequate expression of truth. 
The truth itself is beautiful, and its expression 
should, therefore, conform to that which it ex- 
presses. Literature is the genuine expression of 
truth, the pulsation of the soul. Every sentence 
in literature says something. There are no extra- children should 
neous forms, no forms of speech witliont a direct ^f^^ nothing but 
purpose. Children should read only the sweetest, 
purest, and most truthful literature. 

It is a common mistake to fancy that because 
little folks cannot pronounce every word in a les- 
son, or because they do not understand the meaning 
of every word, they should not be permitted to 
read that lesson.* The question is not of words : Pronunciation of 
from whatever source in good reading a child loves '^°^^'"°* "^*' 
to draw, let him; reading is tldnhing, not the pro- 
nunciation of ivords. 

The demand here made is, then, that from be- 
ginning to end the child shall think; that the ac- 
tion of his mind shall be upon that thought which 
he most needs for his own growth and develop- 
ment; that symbols shall act upon his mind imme- 
diately, attracting to themselves the least possible 

* Experience proves, beyond a doubt, tbat a child will 
learn words like "temperature," "aquarium," "hydrogen," 
"dissolved," just as easily as he does "cat," "rat," and 
"mat," if there is behind the long words an intensity of 
interest. It is the mental energy that impels the acquisition 
of the word. The mechanical learning excites the lowest 
grade of interest and energy. 

2 22 Talks on Pedagogics. 

attention; that he shall early form fixed habits of 
thinking when he reads, and of never fancying that 
he is reading unless he is thinking. Thns read- 
ing may be made, next to observation, the greatest 
means of mental and moral development. 

Modes of Expression. 223 



Attention and exj)ression are the two modes 
or processes of human action which have had most pressionin evoiu- 
to do in the evolution of the human race. If we tion. 
admit the working hypothesis of evolution, tliat 
man's physical, mental, and moral powers are the 
products, the creations, resulting from a long suc- 
cession of acts of attention and expression through- 
out countless generations, we must admit that by 
attention the afferent nerve tracts were created 
and developed; that by expression the efferent 
nerve tracts sprang into being and power; and 
that the great central ganglion, tlie brain, is the 
product of continuous acts of both expression and 

If we are not prepared to grant this comprehen- 
sive working hypothesis of evolution, but prefer 
any other theory for the beginning of man, we 
must still admit that attention and expression 
have played most imiDortant parts in the develop- 
ment of the individual and of the race. 

These two modes of human action, attention Relation of atten- 
and expression, are organically related by wio^f/re. tionandexpres- 
The motive for attention is found in the motive ^^°"' 
for expression; the demand for an act of expres- 
sion is a demand for attention and reflection. 
Attention and expression together are the action 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Modes of 

and reaction of the whole being in mental and 
bodily movement. 

Expression may be generally defined as the 
manifestation of thought and emotion through the 
body by means of the physical agents. The modes 
of expression are : 

Products of ex- 


Tools and instru- 

Art products. 

(1) Gesture. 

(2) Voice. 

(3) Speech. 

(4) Music. 

(5) Making. 

(6) Modeling. 

(7) Painting. 

(8) Drawing. 

(9) Writing. 

All the works of man's hand and brain are the 
products of these forms of expression, of thought 
manifestation through the body. Language is by 
far the greatest outcome of thought and expres- 
sion, and is at the same time the best means of 
studying human development in every phase; each 
word, each idiom, tells its marvelous story of the 
strife and struggle of the being in the effort to 
express thought. The language of a people is its 
ethnographic body created by its composite soul. 

Next to language may be placed the tools and 
instruments which man has used through all the 
ages in manifesting his needs and his aspirations 
to others. Art products which manifest higher 
thought may be placed next, followed by construc- 
tion, or building. From the latest modern edifice 
to the oldest ruin, we trace the growth of man's 
skill and intellect. Through these creations that 
have sprung from human life and human spirit 
we interpret and understand man in each and 
every stage of human growth and development. 
Language gives us the longest vista for interpre- 
tation; implements and instruments of use, the 

Modes of Expression. 225 

second; art, next; and last, the products of imagi- 
nation expressed by building. Morgan,* in his 
great work, " Ancient Society," marks the tran- Marks of transi- 
sition from one stage of savagery or barbarism f^^^f^j^^^j^^^g^y ^^ 
to another, — the successive steps of lower civiliza- another, 
tion, — by certain definite creations of the human 
mind. Thus the middle stages of savagery " end 
with the invention of that compound weapon 
the bow-and-arrow ; " from savagery to bar- 
barism, the transition is marked by the inven- 
tion of pottery ; and from barbarism to civil- 
ization, by the invention of a phonetic alpha- 

The aim of the ethnologist is to discover the The greatest pro- 
products of man's skill all along the line of ^^<=* °^ ^"^'^^"'^ 
f^ ° 1-1 and expression, 

human development, m order to measure his phys- 
ical, mental, and moral power in each and every ' 
stage. What has been said of the race is true of 
the individual: all education is by self-effort; the 
two fundamental modes of self-effort are attention 
and expression; the power of attention culminates 
in expression, and is interpreted by it; self-effort 
in acts of attention and expression, results in en- 
hancing physical, mental, and moral power. Sweep 
all the products of human expression, all the 
creations of the human mind, from the face of 
the earth, and the infinitely greater product will 
remain — the man himself, the developed creator, 
ready and able to re-create. Thus the history of 
the evolution of attention and expression is the 
inner history of the human race. 

Without attempting to discuss at length some important anes- 
exceedingly interesting and instructive problems tions. 

* Jolin Fiske, in " The Discovery of America." 

226 Talks on Pedagogics. 

in humau growth, we may here ask several ques- 
tions that will serve us as guides in future investi- 
gations. First, was there an order or organic 
succession in the development of the modes of 
expression ? That is, did one mode spring from 
the development of a preceding mode or modes of 
expression ? Is the order here given a fair work- 
ing hypothesis of the successive order in the 
development of the different modes of expression ? 
Had the exercise of each and every mode a pro- 
nounced influence or reaction upon human devel- 
opment ? Could any one of the modes of expres- 
sion have been omitted without serious detriment 
to human growth ? Would it have been possible 
to omit one mode and substitute another or others 
in place of it ? What are the relations of these 
modes each to the other in evolution ? At any 
stage of human growth was it possible to intermit 
the exercise of any one mode ? To group all these 
questions together as a general whole, we may ask 
the question : Has the exercise of each and every 
mode of expression been an absolute necessity in 
the evolution of the human race ? AVe may con- 
tribute in some measure to this discussion by an 
attempt to investigate each mode of expression, in 
order to determine the factors which enter into 
each, and also, if it be possible, to understand the 
results of the exercise of each upon the whole 

"Necessity is the mother of invention;'^ it is 
indeed the impelling influence to most human 
action. We can interpret the evolution of the 
modes of expression by understanding the motive 
which gave rise to them, or that which made them 
a necessity. Motive is the impelling power of all 

Modes of Expression, 227 

action, controlling and directing the will. The 
general content of motive is necessity, and neces- 
sity may have a physical, mental, or moral cause. 
Fundamentally, the motive of human action is Motive in expres- 
self -preservation ; a higher motive is the preserva- 
tion of family; a still higher one, preservation 
of community, and desire for the best good of 
a nation; and highest of all, self-abnegation, the 
desire for the best good of all mankind. Out of 
the instinct of self-preservation probably all the 
motives for human action have arisen. Self-effort, 
or action of the being, impelled by motive and 
under the direction of the will, is intrinsic to 
development. Motive, the impelling power of all 
human action, is the main factor in human devel- 
opment. Human growth is measured by the grade 
of the motive, — the higher the motive, the higher 
the human action; it determines method and con- 
trols result. The inner secret of all education may 
be found in the development of motive; motive 
which determines the kind and quality of thought, 
the method of action, the physical functioning, 
and the externalized thought. Expression, then, is 
fundamentally the means of developing that which 
is noblest in a human being — the impelling power 
to action. In all action under motive, the execu- 
tive power of the ego, the will is brought into 
continuous exercise. In short, we can say with 
truth that there is nothing to be developed in the 
human being but motive; that everything else 
follows as a sequence; and with equal truth, it 
can be said that unexecuted motive is negation 
of action, disintegration of thought processes. 

Every act of expression must be preceded by Relation of motive 
certain definite conscious activities; without *°^^*'^^*^*- 

228 Talks on Pedagogics. 

thonglit, there can be no expression. The motive 
determines the intellectnal action, and inspires 
that continuity or persistence of will which impels 

Physical exercise. All acts of expression demand corresponding 
physical exercise; a particular agent of expression 
is called into play, and is enhanced by the action 
of the whole body. The inward impulse or desire 
finds expression in outward form or object; as the 
Creator manifests Himself to man through forms 
and qualities of matter, so man manifests himself 
to his fellow men by formal creations. 

Influence «fskm. The externalization of thought is by means of 
the physical action called shill, whose developing 
influence upon the being may be briefly stated: 
First, the cultivation of motive, the intrinsic qual- 
ity of the soul. Second, the demand for certain, 
definite mental action j the intensificatio7i of that 
action as a preparation for expression ; the en- 
hancement of conscious activities hy the reaction of 
the physiccd exercise upon the mind ; and also hy 
the continual conscious and unconscious criticism 
of the forms in the process of ex^nession, leading 
to a re-shaping of forms. Tliird, the continuity 
of loill action in the execution of motive. Tlie 
will depends fundamentally for its puiver and con- 
tinuity of action iipon expression. Fourth, the 
exercise of tlie physical agents in acts of expression. 
This exercise is brought about by the striving of^ 
the loill to make shill in expression adequate to 
thought; the health, growth, develo'pment and 
elaboration of the body as an instrumetit of atten- 
tion and expression depends mainly upon the 
variety, hind, and quality of acts of expression. 
Fifth, expression demands either reflection or at- 

Modes of'Expression. 229 

tention, or hotH. Attentioti lias for its basis //^e Relation of ex- 
motive of expression. This iinplies that the trend ^^^^^°^^'^^^^^^' 
of all human tliought is toivard expressive action ; 
that thought which does not end in action dies or 

We have, then, as guides to the study of the 
developing influence of the modes of expression 
upon the race: (1) Motive; (2) Thought and 
emotion; (3) The training of the will; (4) The 
perfection of the body as an instrument of atten- 
tion and expression ; (5) The relation of expression 
to the evolution or development of psychic power. 

All changes of the body which manifest mental 
states — changes not included in any of the other 
modes of expression — may be classified under the 
general name of gesture. Gesture comprehends cestui 

what is usually called pantomimic expression, for 
lack of a better term; it includes, in fact, all the 
movements of the body or its organs, aside from 
the production of voice, which in expression of 
thought do not require some artificial addenda or 
tool, such as pen, pencil, brush, or other instru- 
ment or implement. Gesture, no doubt, was in 
the human race the primitive or elementary mode 
of expression. It marked the first glimmerings of 
intelligence, the dawn of mental power ; its de- 
velopment has characterized each step and stage 
of progress ; it is the one universal mode of expres- 
sion common to all consciousness. And while its 
forms present definite limitations, it can still be 
said, to have an almost unlimited range in the mani- 
festation of conscious activities. 

Out of this primitive mode of expression it is 
probable that all other modes of expression, with 
the exception of voice, music, and speech, were 

230 Talks on Pedagogics. 

Gesture a primi- evolved. We can very easily understand how a 

tive mode of ex 

gesture, a form in the air, might suggest a more 
enduring form traced in the sand or soft earth. 
As touch is probably the primitive and funda- 
mental sense, out of which all the other senses 
have been evolved, so gesture, the primitive reac- 
tion of touch, is the germ out of which were 
developed making, modeling, painting, drawing, 
and writing. The actions of the conceptive modes 
of expression are the effects of touch upon a me- 
dium of sufficient density to retain the impression. 
It is an easy step from a form traced in the air to 
a form traced upon paper, or moulded in clay. 
Relation of gestnre At first, gesture enhanced the expressive power 
of the inarticulate voice. The rudimentary, in- 
adequate speech of the savage is accompanied by 
descri^^tive or elliptical gestures. Gesture supplies 
the missing link, enhancing at every step and stage 
the development of articulate voice, and remains 
to-day the greatest means of explaining and 
emphasizing speech. As a means of enhancing 
thought, it is comparable only to the voice em- 
phasis itself. From the manifestation of the 
crudest thought to the emphasis of the highest 
intellectual action, the development of gesture as 
a means of expression may be traced. That which 
was the rude movement of the untutored savage 
has become the mode of expression that distin- 
guishes the highest culture. 
Relation of gesture The relation of gesture to music is exceedingly 
to music intimate. Gesture may be used to express the 

lowest possible acts of intelligence, but, like other 
forms of expression, it is capable of a development 
co-ordinate with the evolution of the highest 
thought and feeling. Dancing may be called the 

Modes of Expression. 231 

physical accomioaniment or the gesture of music. 
It is a well-known fact that all religious music 
in savage, barbarous, and the early civilized, stages 
of man was accompanied and emphasized by 
rhythmic bodily movements. I have already inti- 
mated the close relation of gesture to the art or 

conceptive modes of expression. It is but a slight Gesture and the 

, » 1 J. XT • p conceptive modes 

step irom a pure gesture to the expression of j,f g^pj-gggj^^^ 

thought by means of an instrument,^a stick, 
brush, or pencil: the same laws of physical move- 
ment which control gesture are equally applica- 
ble to the expression of thought in painting and 
drawing. The influence of gesture upon the devel- 
opment of the body is of the highest significance; 
ease, precision, equilibrium, the essentials of grace, 
are necessary to freedom of movement, and to 
mental and physical well-being. Gesture has a 
marked reactive influence in this direction upon 
the physical organism, enhancijig skill, developing 
higher and more subtile co-ordinations. Grace or Gesture and grace, 
economy of bodily action, by the nice adjustment 
and co-ordination of the agents of the body, is the 
main educative physical product of this universal 
mode of expression. 

Voice, or vocalized breath, may be classed in the voice, 

same category as gesture ; it is an open question 
which preceded the other. Voice, like gesture, is 
common to all consciousness, and both were prob- 
ably the earliest, the best apprehended, and the 
best interpreters of human desires. Indeed, ges- 
ture and inarticulate voice, out of which were 
evolved all the other modes of thought expression, 
to-day remain the most effective means of express- 
ing pain or pleasure, interest or indifference, at- 
traction or repulsion ; universal mediums by which 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

the finer subtilties of human thought and passion 
stand revealed. Probably inarticulate cries and 
pantomimic movements of the body had a common 
and simultaneous origin, or at least immediately 
succeeded each other. Voice is in its very nature 
rhythmic, subject to inflection or cadence — the 
reflection of conscious action; the highest inflec- 
tion of voice corresponding to the highest inflec- 
tion of thought, or emphasis. Gesture supplements 
the action of the voice, and voice in turn supple- 
ments gesture. Out of inarticulate voice the 
qualities of articulate sounds were developed ; or, 
to state it better, out of the crude qualities of 
inarticulate voice was evolved human speech or 
articulate voice. 

The instinctive rhythm of inarticulate voice led 
naturally to the more pronounced rhythm of ca- 
denced or metrical expression. Ebythm is the in- 
flection of sound; melody is the mode of inflection; 
and harmony is the unity of inflections. Vocal 
music is voice, in which inflection, melody, and 
harmony are metrical in a higher degree, with 
more pronounced intervals, than in voice proper. 
Function of music. Music is the means by which joy and grief, pain 
and pleasure, ecstasy and woe, when all other 
modes fail, express themselves. 


Articulate voice. 

Voice and music. 

"Thoughts hardly to be 
luto a narrow act, 
Fancies that break through language and escape," 

find expression and voice in this most divine of all 
God's gifts to man. 

We are told that savages take the greatest de- 
light in rude attempts at vocal and instrumental 
music. Schweinfurth relates that the cannibal in 

Modes of Expression. 233 

the heart of Africa will sit with a rude instrument 
of two strings and thrum all day long, filled with 
the keenest delight. Music from the beginning Music a means 
has been used as the distinctive mode for the ex- "^ spiritual 
pression of the deepest religious emotions and the 
strongest sentiments of patriotism. The educative 
function of musical expression is to cultivate and 
enhance those emotions which influence, in the 
highest degree, the motives of man. 

The relation of music to language is of the Relation of music 
closest nature. Music explains, interprets, and *" ®'®^'^'^* 
glorifies poetry; it is the natural medium for the 
manifestation of poetic thought; it blends, har- 
monizes, and enriches the whole being. The high- 
est formal beauty of speech consists in its rhythm, 
melody, and harmony. Vocal music, in the culti- 
vation and development of the voice, plays a most 
important part, and its influence over speech is of 
immense value. When language fails, when argu- 
ment is useless, the marvelous power of music 
comes in, with its persuasive, controlling and com- 
pelling influence, arousing flagging zeal, develop- 
ing enthusiasm, cultivating the highest religious 
feeling, and enhancing courage and heroic endur-' 

That which is best for the soul is ever and ever Vocai music and 
the best for the body. 

finds its highest physical outcome in the rhythmic 
articulation and adjustment of the agents of the 
body, one to the other, blending, harmonizing and 
strengthening them, furnishing, through reflex 
action, a means for the development of their 
correspondence in all modes of expression. The 
rhythmic adjustment of the bodily agents or 
members is an important element of grace, and 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Music cultivates 
tlie emotions. 


MaMng defined. 

true grace is the highest indication of mental, 
moral, and physical power. The normal exercise 
of the vocal organs in music has a marked reactive 
influence in the development of the whole body, 
not only in rhythmic adjustment, but in the de- 
velopment of the lungs and heart. The utterance 
of musical sounds demands the perfect ease of 
bodily action, the unrestricted use of the lungs in 
breathing, and the normal circulation of the blood. 
In short, the exercise of the voice in music de- 
mands perfect physical freedom; the slightest 
tension, through dress or other restrictions, inter- 
feres with and prevents the free action of the 

In this brief outline of the educative effect of 
music, it may be said that an absolute necessity 
for the cultivation of the higher emotions is appar- 
ent. Without emotion man is nothing. What 
man is, depends upon the nature of his emotions. 
Music has ever been used effectively in arousing in 
him the highest aspirations and the deepest rever- 
ence. The history of music is the history of the 
development of the emotions of the human race 
from the beginning. Music has, then, for its func- 
tion the cultivation of the spirit, or the higher 
development of the soul of man. We do not mean 
by this that the highest may notj be made utterly 
degrading. In fact, the rule is that the more 
effective any one means becomes, when properly 
used, the more degrading that means may be when 
it is used to incite in the human soul that which 
is low and sensual. 

It is a long step from the discussion of the 
purely spiritual manifestation of thought through 
emotion to that manifestation of thought which 

Modes of Expression. 235 

we term, though ambiguously, mahing. Making 
has for its general motive self-preservation, health, 
and the general comfort of man; it supplies the 
great underlying needs, which form the indispen- 
sable basis of his spiritual life. In short, making ia 
the material basis of life and living, the function 
of the object made being essentially the practical 
use of that object. Making may be defined as the 
complete externalizing of individual concepts — 
concepts acquired either by observation or con- 
structed by imagination. When derived from ob- 
servation alone, the process of making is called 
imitation or copying; when making is a mani- 
festation of an individual concept constructed by 
the imagination, the term origination or invention 
may be used. 

Attention has been repeatedly called to the products of mak- 
products of man's hand and brain — tools, instru-"^^- 
ments, buildings, and all the countless objects that 
have been evolved in human minds and expressed 
by human hands. The motive in making is the 
function or use of the object made. The maker is 
impelled by necessity to realize the function of the 
object made; his method of action is dominated 
by the adaptation of the thing constructed to use. 
Such motives are the most easily appreciated, most 
freely comjDrehended, are adapted to the lowest 
orders of mind, and therefore to the most primitive 
stages of mental action. 

The necessity for shelter stimulated invention, self -preservation. 
We can picture the early savage, from the sugges- 
tion of overhanging bank or hollow tree, digging 
a cave with his hands, or tearing off the dry bark 
for a rude refuge from sun and rain. The neces- 
sity for food led to the construction of a sling; the 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Analysis of mak 
ing: as a mode of 

use of a dry stick suggested the manufacture of a 
club and a spear; and out of these evolved the still 
higher compound weapons, the blow-reed and the 
bow-and-arrow. All these necessities of invention 
in making demanded exercise of the body, the 
mind, the will, and were so many steps toward a 
higher development. 

A brief analysis of making may be stated as fol- 
lows : (1) the arousing of motive by means of ne- 
cessity; (2) the concentration of- thought in an 
individual concept to be expressed; (3) the steady 
exercise of the will in continued acts necessary for 
the externalization of the individual concept; (4) 
the physical exercise or the use of the whole body 
in executing the demands of the will; (5) the con- 
tinual criticism necessary for the exact adaptation 
of the object to its function. " The slightest 
change in form, or the slightest lack of the proper 
adjustment of parts, will," reasons the maker, 
" destroy or damage the design." The bodily exer- 
cise obtained by this complete externalization of 
individual concepts is of the most marked char- 
Making: as a means acter. Aside from the motive of obtaining bodily 
sustenance, the human race, without doubt, owes 
its physical strength, its powers of endurance, its 
skill — in fact, that which is necessary as a basis of 
development — more to the exercise of the body in 
making than to any other cause. 

Making, as a primitive and fundamental mode 
of growth, is close to the heart of man. Its motive 
is clear and most distinct; it acts for the preserva- 
tion of self and the preservation of others. The 
intellectual action is in the beginning the simplest, 
most clearly appreciated, and the plainest product 
of observation and imagination. In fact, making 

of physical 

Modes of Expression. 237 

is the natural beginning and foundation of all the 
conceptive modes of expression. It is nature's 
primary method of human growth, laying and 
building a sure foundation for higher action. 

Making, modeling, painting, and drawing may conceptive modes 
be called the conceptive modes of expression, °* ^-^p"®®^""^* 
because individual concepts in each of these 
modes constitute the bases of the expressive acts. 
In making, the concept is completely realized in 
•an external object. By the other conceptive 
modes, the concepts are partially realized. In 
modeling, the concept is expressed in outward 
form of three dimensions; in painting, by colors; 
and in drawing, by lines and shading. Modeling, 
painting, and drawing are the art modes of ex- 
pression. Making has for its motive practical use. 
The design of art is entirely limited to the ex- Art modes of ex- 
pression of thought; the individual concept is a'^^®®^°°* 
mental means or medium of thought expression; 
the motive and thought are embodied in an in- 
dividual concept. 

Man in the early mythical stage believed that origin of art. 
all nature, and indeed all external objects, were 
animated like himself. He believed that sticks and 
stones, trees and streams, stars, moon and sun ex- 
ercised spiritual power over him — power that he 
must in part possess for his personal weal, else 
disaster would follow. He believed that the forms 
of objects embodied invisible spirits; therefore, in 
his first attempts at art, he endeavored to imjn-ison 
and command the unseen powers which surrounded 
and controlled him. A model in clay, a rude 
paint-daub, to the savage's dawning intelligence, 
took away the invisible strength of the object. 
The Thinglets of Alaska carve pictures of power- 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Art and religion. 

Difierent uses of 


ful animals upon tlieir clubs to endow their blows 
with corresponding strength. Many savages, to- 
day, will not allow themselves to be painted or 
photographed from a fear that the picture will 
take away their power, or, indeed, kill them out- 

The claim that art sprang from the myth or 
elementary religion is a reasonable one. The main 
function of art expression in the past, and, indeed, 
up to modern times, from the ugliest idol that 
ever frightened a poor savage into obedience to 
the manifestation of redeeming love in the Sistine 
Madonna, has been the cultivation of fear, rever- 
ence, adoration, and love for invisible and divine 
power. The development and nature of the re- 
ligions of the past are interpreted more through 
art than by any other means. The earliest use 
of profane ar\ if I may use that term, was the 
expression of character in individuals; the statues 
and pictures of statesmen. Then followed the 
representations of heroic deeds in order to stim- 
ulate patriotism, and lastly, the interj)retations 
of nature and natural objects. True art has no 
other use than the manifestation of the invisible : 
in religion, divine power and love; in statues and 
pictures, character; in pictorial descriptions of 
heroic deeds, patriotism; in paintings from nature, 
the invisible life and power that animates all and 
breathes through all. Following and perhaps 
preceding speech, the pictorial mode of thought 
expression may be numbered among the earliest 
acquisitions of the race; out of pictorial expression 
was evolved a system of hieroglyphics, the begin- 
ning of writing. 

In the relation of art to human evolution, there 

Modes of Expression. 239 

must be made the strongest discrimination be- 
tween intrinsic art and the mere act of imitation 
or copying. Any imitation of a work of art, jj^j^^^j^^^ 
such as the modeling of idol or statue, the copy- 
ing of painting or drawing, is essentially mak- 
ing ; it is not art expression by any manner of 
means; it lacks the highest thing that is cultivated 
in art expression — motive. An Italian marble- 
cutter may copy the model of a great artist with 
complete accuracy, may chisel marble with the 
greatest skill, and never for an instant thrill 
with thought or emotion kindred to that which 
moved the soul of the artist; he may, indeed, work 
long years with the utmost faithfulness, and never 
have a suspicion, even, of the motive which 
prompted the creation. Mere imitation of art has copying not edu- 
no relation to art itself, and no educative influence, cative. 
Imitation, whatever its kind or quality, is essen- 
tially making, minus the best thing in making — 

In manual training the one motive of making is Function of mak- 
the function of the thing made ; in art the one ^^' 
motive is to give to others a great controlling 
thought, to embody this thought in an individual 
concept, and to externalize that concept by skill. 
The nobler the thought to be expressed, the higher 
the motive, the greater the striving to make the 
expression adequate to the thought : 

' The presence fair 
Of unachieved achievement, the high task, 
The struggling unborn spirit that doth ask 
With irresistible cry for blood and breath, 
Till feeding its great life we sink in death." 

The difference is world-wide between the artisan 

240 Talks on Pedagogics. 

and the true artist in the reflex action of thought 
power and skill upon the soul. 

There may have been great artists who were 
educated through the technically accurate imita- 
tion of works of art; but, so far as I know, history 
fails to name one such artist. The modeling of 
cubes, spheres, and other geometrica! forms is not 
art expression; it is mere making, manifesting 
no thought except that expressed in the represen- 
tation of a 'thoughtless concept. In the modern 
method of drawing, which consists in general 
of the imitation of flat copies, there is no art. 
Indeed, the teachers of such drawing are, sad to 
say, rarely artists. If they were, they would in- 
spire their pupils to express educative thought — 
thought acquired by attention and reflection; they 
would understand better the organic relation be- 
tween art and the central subjects of study; would 
see that the study of geography, of myth and 
of history, furnish countless opportunities for its 

ranction of art in expression. The teaching of art is in its infancy; 

education. when it comes to its own and is used to reinforce 

and intensify the highest thought of the soul, its 
pre-eminence as a means of education will be no 
longer a matter of doubt or question. 
( To summarize: First, the strongest common 

Educative value of factor in art is found in motive— the motive of 

concept! ve modes manifesting the highest spiritual power, the com- 
plete expression of intrinsic personality. That 
which controls the being is the desire to make 
known to others cumulation and climax of thought. 
Second, individual concepts are the. mental 
means of embodying art ideals. Just so far as man 
manifests his thought to man through qualities 
of matter, just so far is he a creator; these crea- 

Modes of Expression. 241 

tions of the artist finding their intellectual realiza- 
tion in units of elementary ideas, the creations and 
correspondences of external elementary energies. 
The individual concept is a means to an end; it is 
the symbol or medium of thought, and not the 
intrinsic thought itself. The fatal delusion of art 
in education lies in the belief that the mere me- 
chanical expression of concepts is art. 

Third, in art thought is manifested through 
partial symbols, or the i^artial externalizaticn of a 
complete individual concept. In modeling, the Partial symbols. 
form corresponding to the concept is fully ex- 
pressed, without regard to color; in painting, the 
expressed form consists of shades and tints of 
color; drawing is the modeling of form, in two 
dimensions; making is the complete manifestation 
of the concept. The external products of the four Materials nsed in 
conceptive modes of expression have /orw? in com- art. 
mon; the differences consist in the kind and 
nature of the forms. In making, complete ma- 
terial is used in construction; in modeling, clay or 
similar jjlastic material needed to express form; in 
painting, color alone is used; and in drawing, the 
material is limited to crayon or pencil. 

The variation in materials used demands an im- 
mense difference in mental power, or power of 
concentrating thought. The thought itself in Relation of the 
each mode of art expression is similar, if not iden- different modes of 
tical; Mt the less the quantity of material used in art expression. 
realizing thought, the greater must he the concen- 
tration of thought. The thought must be clearer 
or more distinct, the concept more definite, and 
the skill or physical exercise of a higher quality. 
The will, also, must be in more steady and con- 
tinuous action. 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Function of art to 
express thought. 

Landscape paint 

The mere expressiou of the concept in itself has 
little to do with art; it is the character, the life, 
the power expressed by means of this thought em- 
bodiment that is the all-controlling motive. The 
clay, the colors, the shading are means to an end— 
the means of arousiDg in those who may observe 
the work of art certain thoughts and emotions, 
definite ideas of character, religious, heroic, patri- 
otic. The true landscape-painter reveals more 
of life and beauty in a landscape than a common 
observer gets from the real landscape itself. He 
interprets the hidden beauty and hidden power of 
nature to others. There would be no reason for 
art if art did not translate and transcend nature. 
Art shows things to man which he cannot other- 
wise see. The true function of art is revelation 
and inspiration. Works of art have marked the 
highest spirituality in each stage of human evo- 
lution; they rauk as the highest interpretation of 
human life. 

In art an individual concept is a mental means 
and its relation to ^j thought embodiment. In making, as I have al- 
forms of expres- ^ • . xi ■ n • • i i ^ • £ ^^ 

sioa. ready said, the individual concept is fully mani- 

fested in the expression; in modeling, the form 
corresponding to the individual concept expresses 
the thought. Plastic materials, like clay and wax, 
are used as the material for thought manifestation, 
and form is the result. Through form invisible 
character is manifested. Next to making, model- 
ing is the nearest adequate mode of expression; 
for form is the highest manifestation of energy. 
The physical training induced by modeling is the 
development of the tactual sense. Eecalling the 
discussion of the place the sense of touch holds in 
its relations to intellectual power, it will be seen 

Individual concept 

Modes of Expression. 243 

that there is no possible training of the tactual 
sense that equals this means of expressing thought. 

In painting, however, the medium of thought 
expression is color; that is, the expressed thought 
corresponds to the individual concept in colors 
alone. By painting I here mean the expression 
of thought by colors aside from drawing. Next to 
modeling, probably painting was the primitive 
mode of expression. Color is the great represent- 
ative sense; it represents form by shades and 

It seems to me that we find in these four con- sequence of the 
ceptive modes of expression a beautiful sequence *^^^^^™°^^®' 
in the means of thought evolution : when the 
concept is weak, and the being undeveloped, the 
means of thought manifestation must be the great- 
est. This condition is found in the materials for 
making ; the next step in lessening materials is 
in modeling ; still less, in painting ; and least of 
all, in drawing. The hypothesis which I believe 
to be a sound one is, that the less material used 
the stronger must be the motive, the more con- 
centrated the thought, and the more continuous 
and more powerful the influence in acts of ex- 
pression. Making is the simplest stage ; modeling 
stands next in order ; painting, the next ; and 
drawing is the highest of the conceptive modes. 
All the conceptive modes are related to each other 
by the common bond of individual concepts. 

Fourth, the physical training in art expression is Physical culture 
of the highest and most delicate quality. It can ^ ^* ^^p^^^""- 
all be comprehended in the word grace. Adequate 
skill in the manifestation of thought is the most 
exalted function of the human body. Skill is 
wholly acquired by exercise in thought expres- 


Talks on Pedagogics. 


Educative nst. 


Relation of art 
modes of expres- 
sion of speech. 

sion. The nature of the couscious activities to be 
expressed determines the quality of the skill. In 
the striving of the soul to make the expression 
adequate to the thought lies the highest possible 
and most educative exercise of skill. 

Makiug requires the exercise of all grades of 
physical strength ; the art modes demand t]]o 
finest delicacy of touch. Modeling exercises the 
greatest intellectual sense — touch — in an incom- 
parable way; painting requires still finer handling; 
and drawing, the most skilful exercise of muscular 
power. Grace is diffused strength, diffused from 
a physical centre of strength ; the greater the 
central physical power, the greater the possibilities 
of delicate touch at the extremities. Delsarte's 
principle may be applied here : "Strength at the 
centre, freedom at the surface, is the true condition 
of being." The exquisite touch of the artist is ap- 
plied grace, applied in enduring gesture. Grace 
requires the co-ordinated action of the whole body 
— the entire energy of the being acting in har- 
mony — thrown into one act. 

We can trace in the conceptive modes of expres- 
sion a natural and indispensable sequence of 
human evolution — a harmonious evolution of the 
mind, body and soul. Can we answer the ques- 
tion, " Could one of these modes of expression hav6 
been omitted without loss to the development of 
character ? " 

The particular educative use of the art modes of 
expression is the concentration and idealization of 
thought ; the expression of the most exalted states 
of the soul in the most defined way, ajopealing 
directly to all that is in other souls. Art is the 
concentration, speech the expansion, of thought j 

Modes of Expression. 


6136 limits, the other extends. In speech not only 
concepts, but judgments, sequences of reasoning 
generalizations, classifications, are exijressed. The 
intimate relation of the art modes to speech is ob- 
vious: art tends to concentrate thought in speech, 
keeping it from diffuseness and dissipation. 

I have already presented in the talk upon hear- 
ing-language a brief analysis of speech. Speech is 
articulate voice, which no doubt was evolved from 
voice itself. All inflections, accents, including 
emphasis, are qualities of voice, and accompani- 
ments to articulate voice. Speech is articulate 
voice, the skilful cutting or manipulation of quali- 
ties or elements combined, and associated in the 
pronunciation of words. Pronunciation consists 
of enunciation of distinct sounds, and the articula- 
tion of these sounds into words. Each enunciated 
sound in the oral language is a quality of voice 
made by the breath as it passes through the vocal 
cavity. The distinct shape of the vocal cavity 
determines the sound made. I shall not here at- 
tempt to discuss the very interesting and still some- 
what obscure subject of the evolution of human 
speech. Like every other product of the mind of 
man, it began in exceeding crudeness. The " bow- 
wow'' theory is ridiculed, still it holds a prominent 
place with many philologists as one beginning of 
speech, at least. 

I have called the language of a people the eth- 
nographic body of a composite soul. Words are 
pure symbols ; they have no correspondence what- 
ever to the thought expressed, unless we accept a 
few words that retain suggestions of onomatopoeia. 
The individual finds a language ready-made for 
his adoption and mastery. Oral words are func- 


Speech defined. 


overcome in learn 
ingf to speak. 

246 Talks on Pedagogics. 

tioued by lieai'iiig-laDguage, and speech by exercise 
in pronunciation and syntax. Inflections, — other 
than accent, — emphasis, harmony, and melody, are 
spontaneous qualities of voice. 

Acquisition and mastery of speech is the most 
common, and, at the same time, the most marvelous 
product of human energy. The mechanical ob- 
stacles to be surmonnted exceed in difficulty any 
and all the other forms of thought manifestation. 
Obstacles to be Each sound demands a definite position of the 

vocal cavity ; each successively uttered sound re- 
quires a readjustment of this cavity. The articu- 
lation of an oral word demands a corresponding 
concept of that word — its sounds, articulation, and 

Expression of thought through sentences re- 
quires a knowledge of the arrangement and relation 
of the words — a command of syntax ; the most 
difficult factor in speech being the idiomatic ar- 
rangement of words. 
Imitation. The mechanism of speech is wholly a product of 

imitation ; nt)t the imitation of the movements of 
the vocal organs, for a child cannot observe them, 
but the imitation of elements in words, and the 
units of words in sentences. The acquisition of 
speech requires an immense amount of mechanical 
practice, but this incessant practice takes place, 
beginning with spontaneous, preliminary bab- 
blings, under the immediate impulse or desire to 
exi^ress thought. The indomitable energy that 
springs continuously from the ever-impelling de- 
sire to express thought, carries the little learner 
triumphantly over all the tremendous obstacles — 
tremendous in analysis — which lie in his path. 

Speech has one predominant advantage over all 

Modes of Expression, 247 

the other modes of expression, with the exception countless oppor 


of gesture, and that is /'//e continuous and count -^^""■^^^^^^^^^^' 

less demands for practice. " Uebnng macht den 
Meister," say the Germans. If other modes of 
expression, making and drawing, for instance, had 
as many demands and opportunities for exercise as 
speech, the skill in these modes would be as great, 
if not greater, than in oral language. 

The speech of a child ever conforms to his Spontaneous ac- 
thought power ; words and senteni3es, subjects, ^^^jj^*^" 
predicates, and modifiers in all their varied forms 
and relations, simple and complex, spring directly 
from the exact nature of the conscious activities 
to be manifested. No word or sentence is ever 
learned solely for future use ; step by step, lan- 
guage is acquired with thought and for thought. 
Any attempt of a mother to lay up in her child's 
mind a stock of language-forms for use, when per- 
chance the fitting thought should come, would be 

As the language of a people is the positive Language a mark 
indication of growth and stage of growth, so the °* "^dividual 
language of an individual is a distinctive mark 
of culture. By this is not meant accuracy and 
polish of speech, but its power as a medium of 
thought expression. The motive of speech is the 
immediate conveyance of thought to others ; the 
controlling impulse is to move others to a com- 
plete understanding of one's thought. 

Back of articulate voice which is strictly me- 
chanical, or artificial, impelling, enforcing, explain- 
ing, and emphasizing, lies voice itself, with its 
qualities of rhythmic inflection or melody, its 
unity of inflection or harmony, its major inflection 
or emphasis. Accompanying speech is gesture, or 

24^ Talks on Pedagogics. 

pantomimic movements of the body, emphasizing, 

supporting, filling out and supplementing articu- 

infiueuce of speech late voice. No argument is needed to prove the 

upon the being:, j-eflex action and influence of speech upon the 

whole being, mind, body, and soul. 

Writing was the last mode of expression in order 
of evolution. The phonetic alphabet marked the 
transition from barbarism to civilization. Writing 
is an evolution from drawing. Picture-writing, 
or hieroglyphics, was the first graphic mode of 
expressing thought. Along the line of economy, 
hieroglyphics were gradually modified until letters 
were evolved. 
Writing. The mechanics or forms of expression in pen- 

manship are the simplest and easiest made of all 
the forms in any mode, being a modification of 
the simplest lines of gestui'e. The forms of letters 
consist of straight lines and simple curves. The 
physical agents of writing, the hand and the arm, 
are the most complex and best developed joint- 
organs of expression, and, as a rule, are the most 
exercised, being used in all the modes of expression 
except vocal music and speech. In the conceptive 
modes, the forms of expression are governed by 
the concept; in writing, the simple forms of ex- 
pression are fixe(^ and ever recurring. The mak- 
ing of simple curves and straight lines is a very 
easy matter, the making of the words correctly, or 
the spelling, constituting the principal difiiculty 
Writing the Sim- ^ writing. To English-speaking children t'he 
plest mode of ex- » • i » n 

pression. useless and monstrous incubus of unphonetic spell- 

ing is a needless and senseless barrier in the way 
of education. 

It is true that wonderful methods and devices for 
teaching penmanship make this mode of expres- 

Modes of Expression. 249 

sion often exceedingly hard to acquire: "but here Devices for teach- 
again tlie difficulties are not in the writing itself, ^^ penmansiiip. 
but principally in the abn'ormal methods and de- 
vices used. Of devices for teaching writing, 
there is no end; and most if not all of them crip- 
ple the mind and deform the body. Thank God, 
the method of teaching children to speak was 
invented before the schoolmaster appeared ! 

The main difficulty in writing is found in the Thought and 
nature of the thought to be expressed. In speech ^" ^^' 
there is an immediate demand for expression, the 
impulse being quickened by the desire to make the 
person or persons addressed understand; in writ- 
ing, this immediate stimulus is lacking. Speech 
may be fragmentary and disconnected; writing 
demands connection and relation. Speech maybe 
brief; writing calls for sequence of thought. The speech and writ- 
motive in speech is immediate understanding; "'^*^°™'^* * 
the written page is to be read after the work is 
done. The speaker watches the effect of his 
words; the writer must imagine the effect. The 
motive in writing is, in general, far stronger than 
that in speech; in the former there must be a 
steadier and more continuous action of the will in 
controlling thought power. Speech is strongly en- 
hanced by the attributes of voice; writing stands 
alone in dead, cold forms. 

The controlling motive in writing is that those Motive in writing 
not present may be reached by the thought ex- 
pressed. Writing admits corrections and changes; 
vocalized breath dies on the air, and nothing but its 
immediate effect remains; writing may remain for 
ages. Speech and writing mutually enhance the 
power, each of the other. Speech may be enthu- 
siastic and diffuse ; writing, deliberative and con- 

250 ^ Talks on Pedagogics. 

centrated. Speech afEects writing by' earnestness; 
writing influences speech by its slower and more 
cautious mental action. Speech in the main springs 
from loose or immediate thought ; writing, as a rule, 
demands the closest study and preparation. Far 
fewer opportunities, as a general thing, present 
themselves for writing than speech; therefore the 
latter is much more slowly acquired and less used 
by the masses. Speech has had a mighty influence 
in the development of the whole race; writing, of 
the few. The action of both has developed lan- 

I have spoken of the relation of the modes of 
expression to attention and reflection. It may be 
that I can make my meaning clearer after this 
brief analysis of the different modes. Expression 
is essentially doing; it is that towards which all 
human action moves, and, indeed, should move. 
Expression is ethical action; it should be the ap- 
plication of truth. Expression concentrates and 
Motive in all the focuses the soul; it reveals personality. The mo- 
modes of expres- ^-^.g ^j^^^^ controls attention and reflection is the 
motive to make others feel, think, and act in ac- 
cordance with personal ideals. The motive of 
expression impels the soul to its best effort in ob- 
servation, study, and reasoning. 

The nine modes of expression have a most pow- 
erful influence each upon the others, and all upon 
each. Gesture, the initial mode, carries its in- 
Reiation of the fluencB over to the conceptive modes, enhances 
Son"o°each^other ^^i^i'' power, and ever remains an incomparable 
means of discriminating the more subtle distinc- 
tions of thought and feeling. Voice is embryonic 
speech; its finest qualities are displayed in vocal 
music. Music, in turn, makes speech beautiful. 

Modes of Expressiotu 251 

and breathes its rliythniic sweetuess and power 
through poetry. The coiiceptive modes of expres- 
sion develop concentration of thought; speech 
and writing expand and broaden thought; the 
art modes of expression — modeling, painting, and 
drawing — are the three great steps in the evolu- 
tion of man. 

The projoer and educative exercise of all the 
modes of expression presents the most vivid illus- 
tration of what Froebel meant by the " harmoni- Froebel's ideal. 
ous development of body, mind, and soul." Ex- 
pression ever acts to develop motive; it makes the 
highest demand for thought power, and requires 
the most healthful exercise of the body. From 
the standpoint of race evolution each mode has 
been an essential factor in human advancement. 
It is hardly possible to imagine the omission of the 
influence of one mode without serious detriment to 
progress. Each mode is capable of almost in- 
finite development. From thrumming on two 
strings to magnificent orchestration, music makes 
its way; making reaches from the cave to the 
palace; art from the rude daub, or the frightful 
idol, to the Venus of Melos. 

From the race we turn to the individual; from Relation of the 

general development to personal education. The ™°*^® °* ^^p^"" 
,. ,, ,, 1 £ • T 1 sion to the educa- 

exercise of alJ the modes of expression has been tion of the indi- 

and is a necessity in the promotion of cW\\iz2l-'^^^^' 

tion. The pertinent question, then, is: Are they 

an absolute necessity for the complete, rounded, 

all-sided education of a human being ? If all the 

modes of expression are not now necessary for this 

purpose, which one, or ones, may be omitted ? If 

all are necessary under the proper conditions of 

time and means, owing to lack of these conditions, 

2^2 Talks on Pedagogics. 

Can any one of the what mode or modes may be dropped? Taking 
modes be omitted? it for granted that the exercise of each mode has 
developed certain physical powers and capabilities 
of muscle, nerve, and brain, would not the omis- 
sion of any one mode weaken the special physi- 
cal capabilities developed by each particular exer- 
cise ? Is it economy of time and power to give 
children who attend school only for a short 
time, proper exercises in all the modes of expres- 
sion, for instance, from three to eight years ? 
These questions are of immense importance, not 
only to the teacher, but to parents. With speech 
and writing there is no question; they are univer- 
sally used and believed in. The problem with 
them is: How may they be used to the best advan- 
tage ? All the other modes are in doubt, not so 
much among educators, but with the people at 
tdeai of the re- "^^^^ \diQQ\. of education controls both method 

public. and means. A republic can logically hold but one 

ideal, and that is to make of each individual all 
that he possibly can be. Any stopping short of 
this ideal is not possible in the development of 
Personal freedom, a people that shall rule itself. Personal freedom 
in the sense of personal struggle, in the sense of 
" working out your own salvation," in the sense of 
" The truth shall make you free," must from very 
necessity be the ideal of all who follow the Golden 
Kule, and find its application in true democracy. 
The high ideal of personal freedom gained by self- 
effort includes and comprehends all other and 
lower ideals — the practical ideals, the bread-and- 
butter ideals. Citizenship, in the best sense of the 
word, cannot possibly be attained under any other 
strivins: but towards the highest goal. These lower 

Modes of Expression. 253 

ideals are merely steps on the way to immortality. 
" Seek ye first the kingdom of God aud His right- 
eousness, and all these things shall be added unto 

Making, or manual training, has done more for Empirical argu- 
the human race than the exercise of any, if not meat for manual 
all, of the other modes of expression. It is abso- ^^^""^^' 
lutely indispensable to normal, physical develop- 
ment; it has had a mighty influence upon brain- 
building; it has. cultivated ethics as a basis of all 
moral growth. Should hand-work be made an or- 
ganic factor in all education from the kindergarten 
to the university inclusive ? 

We may profitably appeal from the theoretical 
side of this question to the lessons derived from 
experience and history. It is a well-known and 
oft-repeated fact that most successful men — 
bankers, manufacturers, inventors, ministers, 
lawyers, authors, and statesmen — received their 
primary education in the shop or on the farm. 
Our country is full of examples of this kind. 
Hand- work on the rocky farms of New England 
has given as much of moral power, sturdy in- 
tegrity, and indomitable perseverance as have her 
famous universities. Follow the history of any 
family, rich or poor, the members of which disdain 
hand-work for a few generations, and you find 
steady deterioration. War was once the resource 
of aristocrats; athletics is now taking its place. 
Without these substitutes for honest labor, poverty 
would have its perfect revenge. The erstwhile 
curse of man, " In the sweat of thy face shalt thou 
eat bread," becomes, in the light of fuller com- 
prehension, his greatest blessing. 

Sound health, a strong body, a persistent will, a 


Talks on Pedaoooics. 

logical mind, are some of the marked results of 
that manual training which springs from stern 
necessity. On the other hand, the world is filled 

Educated incapa- with liberally educated incapahles — men who have 
^** studied much and done little; who have never 

learned the lessons that lead to success — lessons 
of responsibility, persistent action, of direct appli- 
cation of effort to real conditions. There are min- 
isters with an immense stock of words and phrases, 
lawyers without cases, physicians fortunately with- 
out patients, teachers helpless before work tliat 
requires original thought and invention. 

Laziness. Laziness is not the cardinal sin of the world — 

selfishness occupies that place; but laziness is the 
negative cause of many evils which degrade and 
debase mankind. Laziness is an acquirement, a 
state of mind, and body induced by wrong educa- 
tion, or the lack of any. The child is a born 
worker; activity is the law of his nature; helpless- 
ness is the product of too much help. " Alas for 
the man who has not learned to work," says Chan- 
ning. The foundation of education consists in 
training a child to work, to love work, to put the 
energy of his entire being into work; to do that 
work which best develops his body, mind, and soul; 
to do that work most needed for the elevation of 

Education is self-effort in the direction of educa- 
tive work. It is impossible to do all-sided educa- 
tive work without training in hand -work. Manual 
training is the most important factor in primary 
education, and it remains a prominent factor in 
all education. Contempt for labor is an inherit- 

stttdyoftext- ^^^^® ^^^^ ^ suggestion from the ruling classes. 

1t)ooks, The mere isolated study of text-books induces and 

Tbe child a born 

Educative work. 

Modes of Expression, 255 

enhances tliis contempt: the product is legions of 
men whose sole problem is how to get along with- 
out hand-labor. Contempt for labor is in the 
highest degree dangerous to society and to the cause 
of democracy. Manual training is designed to 
cultivate love and respect for hard, persistent work; 
it cultivates a contempt for human beings, rich or 
poor, whose main purpose in life is to avoid labor. 

In large cities, vast numbers of children have 
nothing whatever to do — no farm, no workshops; 
children of poverty run in the street and learn its 
awful lessons. The apprentice system is a thing 
of the past; working-men, to-day, generally do^^dworkof 
one thing: make some one part of a machine. 
This monotonous work is anything but educative. 
If a manufactory closes and these laborers are 
thrown out, they generally are helpless; their trade 
habits are fixed — they can do nothing else, and 
they fall a burden to charity or a prey to hunger. 
Educative, all-round manual training develops the 
habit and skill for all-sided work; it makes the 
worker capable of doing new tasks and studying 
new conditions. 

Manual training has a moral tendency. Vice, Moral tendency of 
intemperance, and crime ai'e the fruitful products ™^^^^""'^^' 
of laziness and contempt for hand-work. It may 
be said that many children have jslenty of manual 
training at home. Then I say, exalt and dignify 
it; enhance skill by recognizing and emphasizing 
hand- work in the school -room. 

"There is not time for such work when so much 
desultory spelling and fragmentary arithmetic must 
be learned." There is time for but one thing, and 
that is to form habits consistent with the highest 
type of manhood, and to supply the most pressing 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

and arithmetic. 

needs of society. The shorter the time a child 
spends in school, the better the work he should do. 
Reading, writia?, Compare the boy who steps from school with the 
ability to read a little, to cipher fairly well, and to 
write legibly, but who has never learned to work, 
with one who has formed habits of work, who has 
learned to observe, whose curiosity is whetted, who 
has acquired something of manual dexterity, and 
is controlled by a deej) love for expressing thought 
with his hands. The boy with the words, number- 
tables, and penmanship may read himself to ruin, 
write himself to Canada, or cipher himself to per- 
dition; while the boy who loves work and knows 
how to work will be apt to educate himself, and at 
the same time give society the benefit of a life of 
hard and useful labor. 

There is really no conflict between manual train- 
ing and the so-called fundamental studies. The 
energy and vigor, moral, mental, and physical, ac- 
quired in manual training, may be carried into all 
studies. Education is not so much a matter of 
time as of quality. In manual training there are 
the best lessons imaginable in form, geometry, and 
practical arithmetic. Manual training is primary 
logic, so much needed in speech and writing. 
Manual training trains the will by persistent 
effort, stimulates the critical faculty, and, above 
all, develops ethical motive. 

The reason why manual training makes its way 
so slowly in our school-rooms is plainly that many 
teachers have spent their precious time in prepa- 
ration for verbal examination, and therefore have 
never been trained to skilled habits of hand-work. 

In regard to the art modes of expression, I have 
9,lready suggested the arguments. On the prac- 

Relation of mai 
nal training to 
other studies. 

Modes of Expression. 257 

tical side, there is much to say in favor of model- 
ing, painting, and drawing. There is never a day 
in a useful man's life when the skill, taste, and 
critical power acquired by the exercise of one or 
all of these modes is not called into practical use. 
There is no trade, business, or profession in which Sbotdd the art 
the mental or physical results of art, skill, and study ™on^be*tau&hUE 
do not essentially and practically assist. AVhat are the common 
distinct concepts of color, form, symmetry, pro- ^ °° * ' 
portion, to the carpenter, architect, designer, shoe- 
maker, tailor, dressmaker, gardener, — in fact, to 
every namable trade in this world that is useful ? 
Heading, writing, and arithmetic are called the 
tools of learning; but educative practice in art is 
learning itself. 

Mistaken vocation is one of the saddest results Vocation, 

of mistaken education; there is always ideally 
some vocation for which a person is best adapted. 
To find that calling is blessedness; to mistake it 
is misery. Education should be the unmistakable 
guide to vocation. There is many a minister who 
could pound hot iron on an anvil to far better 
effect than he pounds the pulpit-cushions; and 
there is many a sturdy blacksmith who could 
make an audience thrill with love to God and 
man, if he had found his way to the pulpit. 
Countless young men leave the free life of the 
farm to become counter-jumpers and writing- 
clerks. Education turned their eyes away from 
the possibilities of the soil and the advantages of 
hand-work, and fixed them upon the city as the 
land of promise. Education with low ideals has, 
like gazing at a nickel, a hypnotic effect upon its 
victims. The varied yet unified work which the 
proper exercise in each and all the modes of ex- 

258 Talks on Pedagogics. 

pression gives will have a strong tendency to lead 
the worker to the right vocation — that vocation in 
which he will be of the greatest use to the world. 
Modes of expres- Through expression, the teacher studies the 
ch^actersti^y" P^^ipilj liis thought, emotions, will-power, special 
aptitudes and. controlling motive. Verbal memo- 
rizing offers very meagre opportunities for this ex- 
tremely instructive study — a study which directs 
adaptation to individual needs. Exercise in all the 
modes of expression opens the child's soul to the 
fullest and freest inspection — an inspection to a 
keen-sighted teacher which leads to correct judg- 
ment and the most useful adaptation of means. 

We must conclude that the use of all the modes 
of expression is an imperative necessity in all- 
sided growth, in the realization of the highest 
possibilities of manhood and character. 
Conclusion. The reasons for this conclusion may be summed 

up as follows: First, true education makes a 
human being of the greatest possible use and 
benefit to mankind. The central-point and sole 
purpose of education is to make the highest mo- 
tive a fixed habit. Motive is cultivated by right- 
eous action. "He that doeth righteousness is 
righteous." All righteous action culminates in 
expression. Skill in each motive gives a person 
greater power to do good. Ethical training con- 
sists in doing the right thing in the right way 
under the right motive. Expression is the supreme 
means of developing motive, and motive deter- 
mines the right method. 

Second, the intellectual effect of acts of atten- 
tion is to intensify the action of consciousness — 
indeed, all the power of the mind. Each mode 
of expression has an especial and indispensable 

Modes of Expression . 259 

function in intensifying thought. I have discussed 
the relation of thought intensity to intellectual 
strength. It may be that there is a better word — • 
I have not found it. I have characterized thought 
intensity, given an educative subje'ct, as the high- 
est moment of educative action. The demand for 
exjn-ession is a demand for attention or reflection, 
or both. The central subjects of study present 
the conditions for study; the different modes the 
conditions for the expression of the thought thus 
acquired. All subjects of expression may be lim- 
ited to the study of the central subjects; taking 
anything outside of that wide range is unnecessary, 
and a waste of time. All acts of expression con- 
dition a study of either color or form, and include 
most, if not all, of the attributes of externality. 

• Third, physical training has for its sole end and 
aim the development of the body as the most j)er- 
fect possible iiistrument of attention, reflection, 
and expression. There is not, neither can there 
be, any physical training comparable to physical 
exercise in acts of expression under all the modes. 
Steady exercise in one mode limits and narrows 
physical power rather than extends it; the exercise 
of each and every mode of expression brings into 
full play all physical agents, — thus the conditions 
and adjustments of certain muscles are enhanced 
by the healthy exercise of the whole body. Speech 
and vocal music exercise the lungs and the inter- 
nal organs of the body; making cultivates physi- 
cal strength, art studies grace and beauty of 
motion. Physical training, per se, is indispensable 
to education; its purpose is exactly the same as 
physical exercise in acts of expression; but physical 
training for the most part is a substitute for that 

26o Talks on Pedagogics. 

exercise which might be had by the proper, suffi- 
cient, aud practical use of all the agents of expres- 
sion. On the practical side, the exercise of all 
the modes of expression prepares man to be of the 
greatest benefit to mankind. 
Pedagogical value The pedagogical value of training in all the 
of the modes of , ^ °°. \^ x. • a x. \ ;i 

expression. modes of expression may be briefly stated: 

(1) The child's individual concepts are very 
simple and crude; it has no complex concepts, 

(2) The fundamental use of exercise in all the 
modes of expression is to intensify those individual 
concepts upon which analysis, comparison, classifi- 
cations, original inferences, and generalizations 

(3) Concepts are developed very slowly. The 
demand for expression should be adapted to the 
growth of concepts. Any attempt beyond this 
limit cripples mental action. 

(4) The difficulties of technique or sTcill are very 
much overestimated. The reason for this over- 
rating is that attempts are commonly made to make 
forms of expression without adequate motive and 
unimpelled by thought, forms that have no thought 

(5) If, in the studies of the central subjects, all 
the modes of expression are continually and skil- 
fully used to intensify thought, every child would 
acquire proficiency in modeling, painting, and 

Unity of Expressive Acts, 




Economy of energy is the method of evolution ^'=°''°™y°* 
°'' energy, 

in matter and life; economy is the distinctive 

mark of all progress. The highest outcome of in- 
vention, machiner};', discoveries in science, is the 
utilization of force. The process of education con- 
sists in economizing personal energy; it means 
using to the greatest advantage, and with the 
slightest possible expenditure of power, the whole 
being, — body, mind, and soul. Economy of per- 
sonal energy is freedom, and freedom is conformity 
or obedience to God's laws. Personal liberty is 
self-effort unrestricted by anything but the laws of 
being. Strict obedience to law is the highest econ- 
omy of self-effort. Every human being is endowed 
with a definite amount of energy, determined by 
the physical organism; the problem of education 
is. How may that energy be used for the full reali- 
zation of possibilities ? 

In education the being moves to higher planes 
of thought and action, by sinking lower planes 
into the automatic; consequently a useless ex- 
penditure of energy upon lower planes obstructs 
normal upward movement. Over-effort and use- 
less striving keep the mind too long in one stage 
of development, and cripple its action in higher 
stages. Education is the economy of self -effort; 
in the strongest and most effective action con- 
forming to law, there is the greatest economy. We 


Self -effort. 


262 Talks on Pedagogics. 

seek for the supreme rule of self-effort, and we 
Unity of action, find it in unity of action, — the culmination of 

Unity of action in I have already spoken of unity of action in at- 
attention. tention; but this law has a far higher application 

in acts of expression: higher because the end and 
aim of human life is ex]iression. 
Unity of action By unity of action in expression is meant the 

defined. functioning or use of the whole being in one act 

whole being. 0^ thought manifestation; that motive, conscious 
activities, physical action, and external form shall 
follow each other in immediate and uninterrupted 
succession; that from motive to form, impulse 
shall follow imjjulse without the slightest break or 
pause; that the agent or medium of expression 
shall not absorb the attention of the ego; that 
consciousness shall not be divided; and tluit the 
body shall act simjjly as the agent, medium, or 
Teaching defined, instrument of expression. It is the part of teach- 
ing to present educative conditions for effective 
acts of consciousness needed for the highest self- 
Training, effort. Training consists in pi-esenting the best 
conditions for the development of the body as a 
medium or agent of attention and thought expres- 
Skill. Perfect skill is the adequate manifestation of 
the soul. The training of the body has for its 
purpose the comj^lete domination of the body by 
the ego; when this control of the body is normal. 
Reaction of ex- its reactive influence upon the mind is healthy, 
pression. rational, and effective. The perfection of skill 
consists in the precise, immediate, and automatic 
response of the body to the mind; any failure in 
such response requires undue effort to overcome 
obstacles in the agent, and renders the act par- 

Unity of Expressive Acts. 263 

tially or wholly abortive. In unity of action, tlie Isolated action. 
particular agent of expression never acts isolated 
and alone; it is reinforced and energized by the 
entire organism, under the direct and full com- 
mand of the ego. 

Grace is the product or the outcome of physical Grace. 

and mental strength. It has its source in the 
depths of being; it diffuses itself through the 
extremities and is manifested in lines of beauty 
and power. The elements of grace are ease, pre- Elements of grace, 
cision, and equilibrium. Ease is the greatest econ- Ease, 

omy of physical action consistent with the most 
effective expression ; precision is exactness and ac- Precision. 

curacy in skill; equilibrium is the diffusion of 
that energy which conduces most strongly to the 
enhancement of a particular act of expression. 
Ease, precision, and balance make adequate skill 
possible. They are the physical conditions under 
which the ego is enabled to concentrate or throw 
all its energy through the agent functioning the 
thought, thus economizing to the full, self-effort. 
Restriction, tension, or effort to act renders poise Restriction and 
impossible, and is indicated by the absence of^^^^^""^' 
grace, or awkwardness. 

Illustrations of the beautiful law of ease and iii'isti'ations of 
equilibrium are abundant. Some of them may be ^ji^ gq^,,^^^^ 
' given : 

(1) Self-poise in danger is the infallible sign of Couraee 
courage, enabling one to reflect with lightning-like 

rapidity, and to throw energy where it is most 

(2) The more easily the rifle rests upon the arm 
or is held in the hand, the better the aim. The 
same fact is true in the use of all tools and instru- 


Talks on Pedagogics. 


Tlie blacksmith. 

The woodchopper 
and penman. 


Grace and awk- 

Order of develop- 


(3) The ploughman in a stumpy field lets the 
plough handles roll in his hands in order to meet 
shocks and control the implement most effectively. 
If he tries to liold the plough itself, his strength 
is quickly exhausted. 

(4) The first lesson a mower must learn is to 
hold the snath nibs with the least possible pressure; 
undue pressure reacts, and weakens the centre of 

(5) The blacksmith swings a heavy sledge 

" With measured beats and slow." 

He holds the hammer handle loosely in his hands, 
and is thus able at the exact moment to concentrate 

The illustrations in this direction are innumer- 
able and universal; the woodchopper swings his 
axe with the slightest muscular tension; the skil- 
ful driver holds the reins with the least jDossible 
exertion; the skilful penman lets the holder rest in 
his hands; in walking, the whole body must be 
mobile and elastic. Untrained, awkward novices 
in hand-work are generally lacking in harmonious 
action, and waste a vast amount of energy in over- 
straining and exhaustive muscular tension. 

Grace is the product of unity in continuous acts 
of expression; awkwardness results from broken 
unity. It is not possible to secure true grace by 
mere physical exercise or training; grace has its 
source in the soul, and must spring from that 
centre. The order of succession in development 
is first equilibrium, then ease, and last precision. 
Equilibrium is the indispensable condition of ease, 
and ease of precision. Ehythm is the harmony of 
ease, balance, and precision. If habits of precision 

Unity of Expressive Acts. 265 

are made the initial steps in training, they must be 
broken down before there can be any successful 
cultivation of grace. The thoroughly trained The trained 
soldier is an example. A Prussian oflficer is gener- 
ally a perfect illustration of trained precision, — 
stiif, ungainly, and abnormally precise, — a machine 
rather than a man. Precision aims at training 
the extremities, the, legs, arms, hands, and 
head. Delsarte's statement of expressive power is: Delsarte, 

" Strength at the centre, freedom at the surface, is 
the true condition of being." External grace or 
power is a product of the whole. From brain to Diffusion of 
spinal cord, physical power by proper exercise igStrengtn. 
gradually diffused over the whole body, reaching 
the efficient agents of expression last. Attempt to Danger of train- 
train the extremities — the fingers, for instance — ing: ^e extremi- 

° ties first. 

before there is due strength at the centre, and the 

result is a knotting and a tension of muscles that 
compress efferent nerve-tracts. The inevitable 
result is the obstruction of free action from the 
centre, and the body is thus weakened by ab- 
normal reaction. A person who learns to write 
by the finger movement must overcome a fixed, 
unnatural habit, must "decompose" knotted mus- 
cles before he can ever make a smooth line, the 
infallible indication of ease. 

Precision as preliminary training, isolates agents isolation of 
of expression, cuts them off from the reinforcing asents. 
action of the whole body. We have seen trained 
(?) singers who used the organs of voice alone and 
isolated, and penmen who wrote with cramped fin- 
gers. The imperative rule for an adequate act of 
expression is that the whole body, every muscle 
and fibre, is concentred upon the act; a person 
should sing, write, speak, by means of the freest 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

ac'tion of tlie entire physical organism. When 
agents are isolated by premature attempts at pre- 
cision before poise and ease of body become 
habitual, the inevitable knotting and tension of 
muscles react, cripple tlie body, and constrain the 

One marked indication of unity of action in ex- 
Genuineness. pression is genuifieness : in genuineness, the forms 
of thought manifestation are recognized as the 
direct reflex of the mind; no matter how crude 
the expression may be, there is not a superfluous 
word, a line too many; there is no waste of breath, 
ink, clay, or paint; words are used to reveal, not 
to conceal, thought. Genuineness means a trans- 
parent, truthful soul, and a body through which 
the soul shines. 
Children illus- Little unspoiled children are the best illustrations 

trate gennineness. of unity of action. Listen to children's voices 
Voicesofciiiidreii.^2^-|g ^^ play,— perfect melody, harmony, em- 
phasis, and inflection, the pulsations of their joyous 
souls. Watch their movements in walking, run- 
ning, skipping, hopping, and dancing; their gest- 
ures are in broad lines, full of unconscious grace. 
The agents of expression and locomotion are har- 
moniously adjusted and co-ordinated. Lideed, 
that which the child acquires spontaneously and 
instinctively, the orator seeks to acquire by long 
The orator. ^^*^ arduous training. The best of our oratorf, 

under the impulse of a dominating motive, have 
the ease and power of expression that is character- 
istic of childhood. This spontaneity was the great 
"WendeU Phillips, charm of Wendell Phillips. I have seen him stand 
upon the platform with perfect poise and perfect 
ease, every muscle flexible, mobile, under absolute 
control, and still the whole being so abandoned to 

Unity of Expressive Acts. 267 

thought and feeling that the throbbing of his great 
heart, instinct with an all-controlling motive, found 
instant and complete expression. 

The actor as well as the orator strives for this The actor, 

same unity of action on the part of body, mind, and 
soul. Indeed, many seek for this, the perfection of 
art, " but few thero be that find it." " The highest 
art is to conceal art," and among actors Salviiii Saivini: 

may be cited as a nearly perfect exemplification. 

A person under a strong impulse to do a brave iiinstrations of 
and courageous deed will suddenly acquire this ^^^^^^ **^*^'*"* 
unity of action. The cry of fire is heard : the brave 
man forgets himself, he acts under the highest im- 
pulse, using his powers to the greatest advantage. 
The untried soldier marching to battle often 
presents the very opposite. He is dominated by 
fear; his soul seems separated from his body, and 
his thought is riveted upon the danger which will 
come in deadly wounds or immediate death. But 
if this terrible fear is overcome, as it will be if the 
soldier marches straight ahead, then comes the soul 
again, the full command of the body, and heroic, 
almost superhuman deeds are the result; death is 
nothing, victory is everything. 

One can present far too many illustrations of 
broken or impaired unity of action. I once knew The school that 
a school that was famous all over New England could write beau- 
for its so-called copperplate writing. The chil- ^' 
dren spent much time during six years in mak- 
ing the forms of writing. Their motive and 
their intellectual action were absorbed in one 
purpose — that of making painfully accurate forms, 
slowly drawing these forms by elements, prin- 
ciples, single letters, words, and meaningless sen- 
tences; and in this they really had succeeded. 

268 Talks on Pedagogics. 

Their writing was the wonder and admiration 
of all who saw it. A devotee of that plan my- 
self, I proposed to test its efficacy still farther. 
I read to the pupils of the eighth grade a sim- 
ple, interesting little story of about one page, 
gave them paper, and then asked them to tell the 

Could not express story, themselves, in writing. The result was dis- 

thougtt. astrous: the writing was nearly illegible, and the 

spelling wretched; in fact, the whole execution 
was disheartening to any teacher who had toiled 
and moiled for long years to train pupils to make 
these so-called beautiful forms. The reason for 
this terrible waste of energy is not far to seek. 
There had been no unity of action on the part of 
the pupils, and when that was required it was not 
forthcoming. The teaching had violated the first 

Nature's training:, principles of Mother Nature, under whose skilful 
training the children had been from the first 
babble to the mastery of thr common idioms of the 
language. Writing had never been used as a me- 
dium of thought expression. 

Ex;perience brings home the crippling effects of 

Oral reading. broken unity. Too often the end and aim of oral 
reading is the perfunctory calling or pronouncing 
of words, to which is often added an arbitrary, 
unnatural, and worse than worthless emphasis. In 
the very tones of the child's voice, in its unnatural- 
ness and artificiality, the wide departure from the 
normal is apparent to all teachers who love 
genuineness. The child's whole being is absorbed 
in the pronunciation of words, and poverty of 
thought and imagination is the result. 

Broken luilty. ^^^^ broken unity, so fatal to education, reaches- 

its climax and culmination in many of our so- 
called lessons in elocution, in which enunciation. 

Unity of Expressive Acts o 269 

emphasis, pauses, pitch, stress, and all the eoutit- 
less contrivances and devices to depress and distress 
the souls of children are unmercifully used. To 
add to this misery, gestures are taught! Heaven 
save the mark ! A " made " gesture is a frightful a made g-esture. 
caricature of thought. It is enough to make Del- Deisarte. 

sarte turn in his grave to hear his name used in 
connection with such ignorant, unpedagogical 
teaching. A child never makes the slightest mis- 
take in emphasis or gesture until he is taught to 
do so. Emphasis is the spontaneous discrimina- 
tion of thought; thought emphasizes itself. 

The verbal recitation of memorized words and Verbal recitation, 
pages is another extremely successful device to 
break down and destroy unity of action ; and when 
this dull drudgery is stimulated to the highest 
degree by fear of punishment or hope of reward, 
its destructive influence is most complete. The 
entire being is concentrated upon the physical 
exertion of pronouncing and repeating words re- 
called from an otherwise barren mind. A student 
who has had twelve or more years of this process, 
wasting energy in this terribly extravagant way, 
has little poAver to relate words to thought. Ask 
him a question, and if perchance it falls within his 
verbal horizon, he fishes it out; otherwise, he is 
helpless. This is true in a marked degree of stu- 
dents Avho have been eminently successful as word 

The normal, Healthy action of mind and body is 
damaged, often irretrievably, by concentrating 
attention and effort upon the acquisition of forms 
of expression, without relation to thought. A 
brief and partial list of the devices for dead-form 

270 Talks on Pedagogics. 

A list of means to learning, selected from a much larger list, may 
action.'^'''"* come in place here: 

(1) The alphabet, phonic, and j^honetic methods 
applied pure and simple, with the least possible 
regard for thought. 

(2) Penmanship acquired by drawing elements, 
principles, letters, words and sentences, followed 
by long and painful exercises in copy-books. 

(3) Flat copy drawing,— or better, imitating 
with painstaking accuracy meaningless forms 
made by machines upon paper. 

(4) Modeling spheres and cubes without ade- 
quate motive. 

(5) Oral reading which consists in pronouncing 
words with the addenda of artificial and false 

(6) Formal exercises in elocution, of pitch, 
quality, emphasis. Dramatic expression taught 
through affected gesture and poses given to music. 

(7) Learning verbatim number tables, and 
"doing sums" disassociated from activities which 
demand judgment and reason. 

(8) Page learning and word repetitions disasso- 
ciated from thought. 

Psychological The brain is the organ of the mind; every men- 

explanation of tal act must have a corresponding physical act or 
Drokenanity. ^^^.^^ ^^ ^^^ central ganglion. Although the 
theory of specific functioning of the brain has not 
been satisfactorily demonstrated, still* all psychol- 
logists practically agree that there is a prominent 
tract or portion of the brain devoted to motor or 
expressive energy. This tract is the medium 
through which the ego manifests forms of thought. 
There is another still more prominent portion of 
the brain, the so-called gray matter, whose func- 

Unity of Expressive Acts. 271 

tion is to assist in tlie evolution of intrinsic 
thought, — to concept-forming, recognition, analysis, 
comparison, classification, generalization, and all 
the processes of reasoning. These two portions 
of the brain are closely and strongly joined to- 
gether by commissural fibres. If, then, the motive 
tract is used as a medium of form making, with 
no organic relation to the cortex or gray matter, 
the commissural fibres will lack adequate exercise, 
and therefore be deficient in development; they 
will remain weak and practically useless, and par- 
tial atrophy will be the result. When a good stock 
of forms for expression has been acquired, any 
attempt to force thought through the forms by 
means of these delicate unused tracts, the connect- 
ing fibres, is well-nigh impossible. 

The pupils to whom I have alluded as models of Why pupUs who 
acquired skill in word-form drawing were called ^^yjj°^Y^pj.ggg 
upon to think a little, and force the thought over thought by writ- 
unused and therefore unrelated nerve-tracts. The ^^' 
beautiful (?) word forms vanished like the mists of 
the morning, spelling acquired by years of practice 
failed to rise above the plane of consciousness, and 
the undesirable result was but an added j^roof that 
unity of action must be preserved in all acts of ex- 
pression, else time and energy is wasted in an un- 
natural and useless struggle. The conclusion is 
inevitably forced upon us, that forms of thought 
expression, or skill, can only be economically ac- 
quired by the united action of the whole being; 
and that intrinsic thought must be the impulse, 
the controller of the agents, and the true basis of 
form in criticism. 

Self-conscious ness is the sad result of making seif -conscious- 
forms for forms' sake. I do not use the term self- ^^^^s. 

272 Talks on Pedagogics. 

consciousness in a strictly psychological, but rather 
in a popular sense. True consciousness of self 
which leads to self-confidence and a proper self- 
assertion, is the antipodes of self-consciousness in 
its popular meaning: the latter either utterly dam- 
ages and destroys confidence of self, or leads to the 
Self-consciousness equally undesirable emotion of self-conceit. Self- 
defined. consciousness, so-called, is the partial or complete 

ahsorjMon of 7nental energy 171 attention to the 
physical agents and forms of expression in at- 
tempted acts of tho7ight manifestation. A " made " 
gesture is a striking illustration of self-conscious- 
ness, — a speaker watching the movement of his 
arm in the air. The orator who listens to his own 
voice and admires it, has an audience that listens 
to empty sounds. Screaming, yelling, and bel- 
lowing in public speaking are means to calm the 
fears of a speaker, all too conscious of himself. 
Pronounced rhythm or sing-song is a rut into 
which a sacred orator glides, to keep himself from 
*' going to pieces." Affectations of all kinds — 
lisping, drawling, overstraining, and the like — all 
spring from an over-attention to agents of expres- 
sion. Cant and hypocrisy lead to fixed facial 
grimaces, habitual attitudes and bearings, constant 
muscular tension, the outcome of effort which 
strives to impress the " truth of a lie." 
Pedantry. All the physical features and traits of pedantry 

spring from an overpowering desire to impress 
others with a belief in one's profound erudition and 
intellectual superiority; many men are marked and 
scarred all over by steadfast and continuous efforts 
to bear silent witness to others of personal piety 
or unlimited wisdom. The distinctive indication 
of this is precision of muscle; fixedness and 

Unity of Expressive AcU, 273 

habitual tension of the whole body devoid of grace, 
and expressive of a soul devoid of harmony. 
Such pedants too often find a ready market for 
their wares; the world is apt to take men at their 
own .valuation, letting the men who think and 
doubt, — doubt because they think — wait for cen- 

Self -consciousness is very easily cultivated. A cultivation of 

Tiii ■ n • 1 • • • 1 self-consciotts- 

little girl comes m; her voice is music, her inove-j^ggg_ 

ments poetry, her body responds to her soul like 
the strings of a harp to an artist's touch. Some 
thoughtless person exclaims, " Oh, what a lovely Flattery. 

girl ! What an exquisite voice ! " The sharp little 
one hears, alas ! and understands. " I am lovely, 
I am lovely," rings in her ears and sinks into her 
soul. The reaction is over-attention to body : she 
listens to her own voice; she watches her own 
motions; unity of action is destroyed; self -con- 
sciousness, affectation, cant, and awkv^tirdness 
mark the awful transition. A boy, owing to his 
divine nature or unconscious growth, does some 
genuinely good deed. " What a good boy! " is his 
reward. " I am a good boy ; if I do good, people 
will notice and praise me; I'll do good for appro- 
bation." Genuine goodness moves out> and pious 
cant, in. 

Public declamation by little children is another Public deciama- 
f earful cause of self -consciousness. A person of*^°^' 
taste who has had the misfortune to hear " Curfew 
shall not ring to-night," knows the effect of self- 
consciousness in its most aggravated form. Too 
early public declamation has given to the world 
some frightful specimens as orators, and deprived it 
of countless good ones. I know a highly educated 
man of noble heart, whose soul is full of human 

2 74 Talks on Pedagogics. 

kindness, but whose manner and conversation is 
often brusque and even coarse; the secret of this 
manner is timidity. We often deem a loud-voiced 
public speaker self-conceited : too often he is strug- 
gling with self-consciousness, striving to drown his 
fears in billowy waves of sound. 

Fear. Why should it not be as easy to speak in public 

as in private ? The answer is " Fear ! " We 
think of the attitude of our bodies when we stand, 
are painfully conscious of the forms of speech; 
attend to the expression alone, until we repress, 
paralyze, and stultify all freedom of action. An 
otherwise graceful person may be overcome with 
fear on entering the presence of some person of 
exalted position. The moment the room is en- 
tered attention is entirely directed to personal ap- 
pearance; how the hands shall be used; how the 
head shall be carried; the tongue loses its cunning; 
the feet refuse to move; in short, body, mind, and 
soul are paralyzed. I suppose there is no one who 
has not at some period in his lifetime experienced 
this woful lack of dignity, this quailing of the soul 
before some bugbear of the imagination. The 
moving, despairing reason why prayer-meetings 
are often so utterly dull and stupid, why many 
teachers' meetings are fruitless and flat, is that 
the brethren painfully strive to formulate thought, 
fail, and decide to let others do the speaking. 

False modesty. " We are modest, we are! Let bolder ones speak ; 
we will sit still." "Do not deceive yourselves, 
my brothers : it is pride, not modesty, that controls 
you. You fear that you will make a mistake, and 
therefore you are modest." 

The evil effects of self-consciousness may be par- 
^v ticularized ; tjie most common effect is an abnormal 

Unity of Expressive Acts. 275 

fear before expressive acts that are in themselves 
exceedingly simple, a fear which induces temporary 
constraint of body, and inhibition of mind. We 
are all more or less victims of this form of self-con- 
sciousness; illustrations are not far to seek. Did lUttstrations of 
you ever go to t'le blackboard to write a word, ^""^^"^^^"^ 
— received, for instance, — and suddenly doubt 
whether the form is ei or ie ? Have you ever taken a 
written examination upon which much depended ? 
Have you ever for a moment forgotten all that you 
ever knew ? Did you ever come before a person 
in authority and wish to explain something of 
great importance to yourself, and have your tongue 
cleave to the roof of your mouth ? Were you ever 
suddenly asked a question in company which your 
very anxiety to answer prevented your answering ? 
Were you ever asked the name of a person whom 
you knew intimately, and however you might 
struggle to recall it, the name refused to come ? 
Were you ever speaking in public, and all at once 
wonder if you were making a favorable impression ? 
Did you ever sit down to write a composition ? 

Most stammering, stuttering, and hesitations of 
all kinds are results of an over-attention to forms 
of speech; there is also a stammering of the mind 
from the same cause. Self-consciousness breaks 
the connection between will and action; constant 
repetitions result in lack of control of the hand or 
vocal organs, and induce an unnatural habit of 
action; attention is entangled in the functioning; 
the difficulty of making the required forms con- Fear constraining 
strains the mind, and fear, the most perilous of^^™^"^*^' 
all the emotions, not only hampers and hinders 
expression, but through continual failure lessens 
activity and renders our best efforts abortive; in 


Talks on Pedagogics. 


Saccessfol men 
■who were dull 

short, "makes cowards of us all." We do not dare 
to read aloud, to speak or sing in public; we shrink 
from writing and drawing because thought of such 
action suggests mistakes and failure; the form of 
the thought is ever before us, a terrifying spectre. 
Fear that is a direct product of self-consciousness 
obstructs growth, and diminishes personal influ- 

A still worse outcome of self consciousness is 
self-conceit. There is a certain and common type 
of mind sj^arsely endowed with original talent, that 
has, as a poor substitute, great facility in memo- 
rizing and repeating words; the rule is that per- 
sons possessing this power can recite better unim- 
peded by any shadow or shade of thought. Such 
verbal wonders are the comfort, delight, and conso- 
lation of teachers whose ideal is quantity of knowl- 
edge. No danger of failure in recitations, of page 
and chapter examinations with such pupils : they 
"never stop to think.'' Their empty hei'ids are 
wreathed around with a halo of approbation, their 
hearts are filled with flattery; but they find their 
fatal mistake when the stern problems of active 
life, business and real work crowd them into 
obscure corners. Fear may be overcome by persist- 
ent effort, for fear is backed by conscience; but 
self-conceit well-nigh seals the doom of its victims. 

It is hard ' to reconcile the demands of some of 
our schools with the demands of life. Many of 
the most successful men in real life, it is well 
known, were looked down upon as hopeless dul- 
lards in school, frowned on by the teachers, driven 
out by per-cent examinations, and mourned over 
by loving parents. Such boys are called stupid or 
worse, because a divine instinct prevents them 

Unity of Expressive Acts. 277 

from trying to learn v/ords and " do sums " which 
to them are meaningless. Blessed are geniuses 
who find the thought in everything, no matter how 
much "the method " stands in the way ! 

The child who can repeat words like the boy sissy Jupe and 
Bitzer, the one who triumphed over Sissy Jupe in ^itzer. 
the contest for the definition of a horse, feels that 
lie is already a scliolar. Sissy Jupe had a real 
definition of a horse in her mind, gained by close 
observation; but Gradgrind, like many of his 
countless spiritual brethren, was after a certain 
definite form, which to his mind was the thing to 
be learned and repeated. The boy knew nothing 
whatever about a horse, and yet he met the highest 
approbation of the school board, and felt that the 
road to success was open to him, while Sissy Jupe 
was in despair. 

" Keep back thy servant from presumptuous xj^g ^eat trans- 
sins; let them not have dominion over me: then gression. 
shall I be innocent of the great transgression." 

Too many prizes, rewards, and high per-cents, 
alas! are given for this mind-stupefying work. 
Practice in each and every mode of expression is 
too often made the means of developing self-con- 
sciousness, — that self-consciousness which is the 
greatest obstruction to human development, and 
its fearful products of fear, or self-conceit. 

Long years of flat-copy drawing will sink the Flat-copy draw- 
mind into dead forms, effectually destroying the^^* 
influence of art expression. In music, many a 
child with wonderful natural ability, so-called, is 
put into formal training; and out of millions of 
such students we get one Materna, with now and 
then a Mario ; the remainder sinking into " innoc- 


Talks on Pedao-osics. 


Educative work 

caused by mental 

Self -consciousness 
a disease. 

uous desuetude," victims of ignonmce on the part 
of parents and teachers. 

The subject of overburdening has been much 
discussed of late. Students, we are told, break 
down with overwork; ambitious girls suffer from 
nervous prostration; indeed, until physical train- 
ing came to the rescue, few young women left 
high school or college without symptoms of disease, 
the premonitions of an early death, or lifelong in- 
validism. Genuine educative work is the healthi- 
est exercise, both for mind and body, of which the 
human being is capable; the power of endurance in 
unity of action is simply marvelous. All-sided edu- 
cative work stimulates the healthful action of brain, 
nerve, and muscle. The laws of compensation, of 
interaction and reflex action, of co-ordination and 
adjustment, bring about a constant refreshment, 
building up the physical agencies of the mind, that 
would otherwise be weakened through one-sided 
or partial action. The prolific cause of overbur- 
dening is not genuine work, but mental drudgery; 
one-sided and partial action of the being, in which 
there is no continual well-siiring of joy in the dis- 
covery and expression of truth. Excited by the 
glittering baubles of reward, of per-cents, place in 
class, of victory over others, ambitious students 
struggle for the mastery of dead forms until nerve- 
power is exhausted, symjDathetic organs fail in 
their functions, and the muscular system collajoses. 
" Oh, what a fine scholar she is ! " means too often 
hov/ rapidly she is using up nerve-force and ex- 
hausting vital energies. Motive, too, sinks to the 
lowest plane in this senseless and selfish striving 
for rewards and approving smiles. 

Self -consciousness is an incipient disease. An 

Unity of Expressive Acts. 279 

expert physician will tell yoii that the continual 
attention of the mind directed to the body and its 
organs leads to a change in these organs, to mor- 
bidness, to the inhibition of healthy action. Awk- 
wardness, stiffness, cant, affectation, and such 
abnormal manifestations, are simj)ly indications of 
that which, if the processes which lead to undue 
consciousness of self are continued, will be followed 
by results of the most serious nature, — may lead 
even to insanity. 

I believe that I have not overstated the dreadful 
consequences of self-consciousness. The question 
is, whether this unity of action, begun spontane- 
ously and instinctively in childhood, this marvel- 
ous power which is sought for by all artists, this 
genius, this centering of self, cannot be continued 
to the end; whether all expression may not be 
under the immediate impulse of thought controlled 
by the will, and dominated by right motive; and 
whether it is not possible, under the proper train- 
ing, to educate children without fostering and 
inducing that which is abnormal. 

There are two hypotheses in education; call the 
prevailing hypothesis may be stated as follows : It ^j^^ ^^^^^ hypoth- 
is an absolute necessity to take the greater portion esis in education, 
of school-time in training pupils to learn and 
make forms of expression, with the avowed purpose 
of using them in the future, when, percliance, they 
may be needed for the manifestation of thought. 

I believe this is a fair statement of the motive 
which controls much of our school-work. The 
teacher believes that the forms in writing must 
be learned: first, for instance, the spelling; second, 
the etymology of words — the knowledge of the 
syntax of sentences; third, the elements and prin- 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

ciples of penmanship — the making of each letter 
separately, the combination of letters into words, 
the writing of copies and of pages of the copy- 
book; fourth, jnipils copy from flat triangles, 
squares, cubes, and spheres, and all manner of 
forms, so that some day, when it becomes necessary 
to express an original concept on canvas, the neces- 
sary skill will have been acquired. The same can 
be said of notes in music: pupils learn these notes, 
learn to read them and to write them, so that when 
the impulse to discourse music comes, the notes 
will be ready, empty moulds to be filled with sweet 
sound ! 

The second hypothesis is this : Is it possible to 
acquire all the technical skill needed for the ade- 
quate expression of thought, in each and all the 
modes of expression, under the immediate impulse 
of intrinsic thought, controlled by the will and 
dominated by the right motive ? I place these two 
hypotheses side by side for your consideration. We 
have had a long experience in the former and a 
very slight experience in the latter; but the ques- 
tion should be asked most earnestly, Is it possible 
to devote all the time of the child in the most 
economical way in the search for intrinsic thought? 
I have presented phases of this same question in 
other relations over and over again, but this latter 
question is undoubtedly the most important, for 
it is the centre of all educational problems. 

I cannot leave this subject without a brief dis- 
cussion of a question which is of profound interest 
to us as teachers. Is it possible to overcome habits 
of self-consciousness when formed, with all the 
defects involved ? It is possible; but the one who 
conquers will no doubt learn to comprehend the 

Unity of Expressive Acts, 281 

depth of tlie divine words, — " Blessed is he who 
overcometh." it is safe to say that much of the 
scientific teacliing above tlie first grade, and even 
in that grade, consists of attempts to eradicate 
defects and change bad habits, which are the neg- 
ative products of unscientific teaching. These 
habits, comprehended in self-consciousness, with 
its two baneful results, abnormal fear and equally 
abnormal self-conceit, stand as effectual barriers in 
the path of personal education: there is noway 
around them, they must be overcome, must be 
broken down, else education becomes a farce and 
a delusion. 

The sin of wasted and misdirected energy has wasted energy. 
small place among current discussions of human 
ills; but it is an evil of evils, a sin of sins. To 
keep a soul in utter ignorance maybe called the 
greatest waste of energy; but with the direct pur- 
pose of economizing energy by education, to delib- 
erately waste it in abnormal obstructions, is a 
terrible loss to humanity. True education frees the 
human spirit, by making self-effort the highest and 
best, and at the same, time the most economical. 
Education opens a " vista of fair things before, 
repeating things behind," stimulates to most effec- 
tive action, — that action which reveals inaccessible 
heights still to be attempted. "'Tis not what man 
Does which exalts him, but what man Would do.'* 
A personal ideal that^can be attained in this life, or 
by one individual in an infinite series, must of 
necessity be low. 

' ' All, I could never be. 
All, men ignored in me, 
This, I was worth to God , whose wheel the pitcher shaped." 

Common experience abundantly proves that stu- 
dents may spend long years in the most laborious 

2^2 Talks on Pedagogics. i 

drudgery and never develop the power of original 
imagination, inference, and consequent generaliza- 
tion. That power of the mind which is the supreme 
test of true education — the power to understand 
new phases of thought, to discover and to adapt new 
conditions to new needs — is lacking. History is 
replete with, and society full of such sad exam- 
ples of defective teaching; indeed, pedantry to a 
great extent, to this day, controls public opinion. 
Whittier's lines, 

" Of all sad words of tongue or pen, 
The saddest are these, — ' It might have been,' " 

may be applied to memories of wasted energy — 
energy wasted in struggling to do the im.possible, 
while leaving vast possibilities unrealized. 

Sedulously icultivated habits of fear destroy self- 
confidence. The child is afraid to read, to write, 
to spell, to cipher, to recite, on account of the 
cruel spectres of fancied difldculties. Xo one can 
teach long without observing that many children 
are absolutely crippled by timidity: such children 
have a longing desire to do what they see done, but 
having an over-weening respect for the accom- 
plishments of others, their minds and bodies are 
mistake!! " " paralyzed by the emotion of fear,— /ear of malcing 
a mistake if tliey try. It is needless to recount 
the many devices for the cultivation of this perilous 
emotion. They may be generalized in one sen- 
tence: "Here is something difficult, something 
you must try very hard to do; give attention, 
study, strive, and perliaps you may conquer." The 
" something very difficult " is the acquisition of 
dead forms. The exercise of that mental energy 
which makes forms of expression immediate and 


Fear of ma king a 

Unity of Expressive Acts. 2S3 

imperative necessities, sweeps away seeming diffi- 
culties as liglit dissipates darkness. 

Self-conceit is not self-confidence, the true con- 
sciousness of self: it is the overweening, unwar- 
ranted self-satisfaction in a certain facility of ac- 
tion, — for instance, a giibness in recitation and 
a fertility of barren verbal memory which bad 
teaching demands and ignorant teachers praise. 
Add to constant approbation the complex and 
effective machinery of rewards, per-cents, prizes, 
and promotions, and the means of making a con- 
ceited donkey of a child are complete. Prizes put 
a premium upon superficiality, and frighten the 
fearful children (fearful because they have a great 
reverence for knowledge) into outer darkness. 

The common experience that dull boys often DuUtoys. 

distance in real life their high-percented competi- 
tors, is easily explained. Reputed dulness in many 
cases, as I have already intimated, is the result of mi 
absolute refusal to learn words without understand- 
ing them. " I think," began a bright little girl. 
"We don't want any thinhing here: tell me what "We don't want 
the book says." * This is a typical command from ^y *f "'^*«s' 
an unscientific teacher. The pedagogics of defect 
should constitute a main branch of the general 

I can best illustrate means and methods of rem- 
edying defects in education, which are the prod- 
ucts of defective teaching, by appealing directly 
to those teachers who catch a glimpse of the un- Effect of motive, 
limited possibilities of scientific teaching. The 

* True. 

t There is a pressing need for a work upon educational 

Influence of 

284 Talks on Pedagogics. 

effect of such a glimpse is often a discouragement 
whicli amounts to despair. " Conviction must ]3re- 
cede conversion." A true teacher feels deeply the 
immense influence of his own knowledge and skill, 
or lack of them, upon his pupils. There is practi- 
cally no limit to the instinctive ability of pupils to 
imitate their teacher in every detail of thought 
and exjoression, extending even to gestures, move- 
ments, and manner. 

Great skill in penmanship — the ability to write 
teacher's skill, rapidly, legibly, and beautifully upon both black- 
board and paper — renders the task of training 
pujDils to write a very easy matter indeed. It is 
perfectly safe to say that proper skill on the part 
of the teacher saves three fourths of the time 
of pupils in this direction, when compared with 
the results of training by teachers whose penman- 
ship is poor. * A teacher who can exercise upon 
his pupils the enchantment produced by excellent 
oral reading has at command the best possible 
means of teaching elocution. A teacher skilful in 
drawing arouses, by the exercise of this art, a 
strong desire on the part of his pupils to do the 
same thing in the same way. N'o method in vocal 
music, however good, can begin to compensate for 
a teacher who cannot sing. The real grammar 
taught in a schoolroom is the language of the 
teacher. In fact, "As is the teacher, so is the 
school," may be truthfully interpreted *^As is the 
skill of the teacher, so is the skill of his pupils." 
The best substi- There can be no efficient substitute for lack of 
skill in any of the modes of expression : the best 

* Teacbers who write poorly often teach writing well, 
but they use an over amount of energy in accomplishihg 
this result. 

tute for skill. 

Unity of Expressive Acts. 285 

makeshift comes from the teacher's frank acknowl- 
edgment of his weakness, and the practical ex- 
pression of desire to improve, by courageously 
working with his pupils in acquiring the needed 

Failure in knowledge itself, failure to command 
subjects of thought, failure to understand rela- 
tions, inability to present conditions for mental 
growth, lie at tlie root of most itniierfect teacli- 
ing. The very teachers who make quantity of 
knowledge the end and aim of teaching are gener- 
ally those who have lost all zest and love for 
knowledge; they are fully convinced that they 
have enough on hand for present purposes. It 
seems a curious paradox, that many teachers whose 
sole aim is to impart (?) knowledge are not ever- 
lasting students themselves. If genuine exhibi- 
tions of skill have such an influence over pupils, 
how much greater is the influence of the teacher's 
attitude towards study ! 

A teacher who has not a profound appreciation 
of his responsibility and influence, who does not 
earnestly long for greater skill and more knowledge, 
cannot be counted with the efficient members of 
the profession. " I see clearly," a teacher should considerations 
think, "that my influence over immortal minds is ttat wiu lead a 
eternal, that whatsoever I am goes into the iramor- ^**^ ^^ s u y. 
tality of my pupils; their true success depends, to a 
great extent, upon me,— upon my knowledge, skill, 
and character. I am weak and inefficient; what I 
am, my pujnls will be: shall I perpetuate weakness 
or strength ? My efforts spring from my love for 
my pupils and my ajjpreciation of their never-end- 
ing influence. I will acquire both that skill and 
knowledge so much needed for my sacred work." 


286 Talks on Pedagogics. 

Motive, a high and holy motive, is alone siiffi- 
Motive alone wiu cient to break down the barriers of fear and de- 
ZlrZL'p"" stroy self-conceit. What the wrong motive pro- 
duced, the right motive, the love for humanity, 
must destroy. As is a teacher's love for his pupils, 
so is his work. It is a long and painful process 
for a teacher whose writing is a scrawl to acquire 
beautiful penmanship. It is more than difficult 
for a teacher who has years of flat-copy training 
to learn to draw. It is blessed for a teacher who 
has had his mind stiffened and stupefied by v/ord — 
cram " to hunger and thirst after righteousness." 
But if love leads the way, miracles will be per- 

To change tlie motive is to overcome habits of 
fear or self-conceit. Undue consciousness of self 
is the direct product of wrong motive; it may be 
changed to righteous self-confidence by changing 
the motive. Timidity vanishes whert the courage 
of duty and high purj)ose enters. Self-conceit is 
shattered when actions are controlled by high 

Most children read orally as if they were uncon- 
scious of auditors: oral reading is generally a sort 
of muttering to one's self. No lessons in force, 
pitch, stress, or emj^hasis are sufficient to cure such 
habits. One thing alone will cure, and that is, to 
1)6 changed. " make a child very anxious to he thorougldy under- 
stood in what he reads. In that struggle all the 
arts of elocution will find a place, — under an all- 
controlling desire to make others think, feel, and 
appreciate the thought and emotion of the reader. 
Here is a simple illustration of all the cases of this 
kind. Lead pupils to forget themselves and their 
fears under the dominant stress of motive. 

How motive may 

UnUy of Expressive Acts. 287 

The motive of learning forms for form's sake, art me wronff 
for the sake of art (?), words for the sake of re- ™"tive. 
peating them, elocution for the sake of elocution, 
leads directly to the dire evils of over-consciousness; 
the only cure for these evils is to reinstate the high- 
est motive in supreme command, and with it unity 
of action. The altruistic motive is the intrinsic ^Hj.,jjg^ij. j^o|.j^, 
quality of the soul : it controls thought and expres- preserves unity 
sion; it directs method; its one criticism is, Are ° ^'^ °^' 
the results of expression adequate ? — do they have 
the proposed influence upon others ? This motive 
directs action out of one's self towards others, and 
the false self sinks out of sight. " He who would 
save his life, must lose it." 

That which is lost of time and struggle cannot 
be regained ; but there can be a conversion — a new 
start, under which abnormal barriers may be over- 
thrown, and the way to higher development opened. 
Keenness, acuteness, a low grade of insight and 
a high grade of pedantry, often spring from low 
motives; but inspiration, revelation, and prophecy 
come only to souls devoted to the weal of mankind. 
That which is true of humanity in general must 
be true of children. Self-consciousness may be 
overcome, but genuine economy is found in pre- 
serving the unity of action from the beginning; 
in sedulously cultivating the altruistic motive, self- 
confidence, and the most educative self -effort. 


Talks on Pedagogics, 



I WILL place side by side the two hypotheses 
already presented in former talks : 


First hypothesis 


PujDils must 
trained to make 
forms of thought 
pression, forms of 

be The technical skill 
the necessary for the ade- 
ex- q u a t e expression of 
Ian- thought in all modes of 
expression may be thor- 
oughly acquired under 
the immediate impulses 
of intrinsic thought, or 
the thought evolved in 
the study of the central 
subjects and their aux- 

guage, art, and number, 
with no immediate re- 
lation to the thought 
the forms express. The 
purpose of this form 
making is the use of the 
forms in the future 
when needed for the ex- 
pression of thought. 

The first hypothesis may be illustrated by spe- 
cific statements: 

(1) That forms in penmanship must be mechan- 
ically acquired by the persistent use of copy and 
copybooks; by drawing elements, principles, let- 
ters, and sentences. 

(2) That power to understand and use language 
in speech and writing, may be acquired by the 
isolated and formal study of grammar. 

Acquisition of Forms of Thought Expression. 289 

(3) That constant drills it oral and written 
spelling, covering a period of eight years, are ab 
solutely necessary. 

(4) That numerical figures and processes of 
figures, together with number tables, must be 
learned with little regard to the exercise of the 
reasoning powers. 

(5) That the ability to express thought through 
the manifestation of individual concepts may be 
acquired by copying models, paintings, and draw- 

(6) That the mechanical making of musical 
sounds not " throughly informed " by thought and 
emotion, and the isolated learning of notes, — 
symbols of these sounds, — are fundamentally nec- 
essary for the cultivation of vocal music. 

(7) That special lessons in emphasis, pitch, in- 
flections, stress, and all the properties of the voice 
unrelated to thought, are necessary as a prepara- 
tion for the adequate power to express thought by 
oral reading and speech. 

This mechanical work upon the means of 
thought manifestation takes, generally stated, 
more than two thirds of the time spent by pupils 
in the primary and grammar grades— a course of 
eight years. There can be no reasonable motive 
for this vast expenditure of time, toil, and money 
except anticipated gain in the power to express 
thought, io7ie7i, in some future time, it may le 

The propositions involved under the second 
hypothesis may be stated as follows: 

(1) That the entire time and power of the 
pupils in school may be concentrated upon intrin- 
sic tliouyM, the thought embodied in the central 



Time taken for 
formal stady. 

Second hj^potliesis 

npon intrinsic 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Thought intensi 

subjects. By intrinsic thought is meant the free 
action of the mind towards truth along the short- 
est line of resistance. 

(2) That the function of expression is ethical; 
it determines and develops the motive for the con- 
centration of the mind upon intrinsic thought. 
When educative acts of expression occur under 
unity of action, the reflex action develops the 
body as an instrument of expression, the mind as 
the centre of thought power, and the motive or 
soul as the director of the will. 

(3) That each and every act of educative ex- 
pression intensifies intrinsic thought, cultivates 
physical power, trains the will, and enhances 

Technical difficui- (4) That the personal energy engendered by the 
ties overcome. necessity and desire to manifest thought is suffi- 
cient, when scientifically directed, to overcome all 
the technical difficulties of form. 

(«) Writing, including spelling, punctuation, and 
capitalization, may be gradually and surely mas- 
tered by successive attempts to express thought. 

{b) Technical grammar, with its modifications 
of etymology, syntax, and prosody, may take en- 
during form and shape, when welded under the 
white heat of absorbing thought. 

(c) Efficient arithmetical power and skill may 
be acquired by the continual exercise of judgment 
and reason in the necessary application of numbers 
essential to a knowledge of the central subjects. 

{d) The cultivation of the voice in music and 
elocution should be immediately controlled and 
governed by thought and emotion. 

{e) Art forms in modeling, painting, and draw- 


Technical gram 

Acquisition of Forms of Thought Expression. 291 

ing may be best acquired under tlie immediate 
stimulus of the ideal to be manifested. 

Look at these propositions under the light of Economy, 

economy of human action. All the school-time of 
a pupil is concentrated upon intrinsic thought; 
every act of expression intensifies that thought. 
The forms of expression are adaj)ted to the needs 
of the soul at every step. They grow with thought, 
conform to the thought, and are therefore genuine 
and adequate means of expression. 

Physical exercise under unity of action is the Physical training', 
best preserver of health, while it is at the same 
time a means of making the body the complete in- 
strument of the soul. 

The possibilities of knowledge and skill are thus Possibilities of 
immeasurably enhanced. Bring the untold energy ^'lowiedge ea- 
which exhausts itself upon dead forms into living 
contact with truth, and the result will be that 
intellectual pigmies will give place to an army of 

Finally, every moment in education will be an 
ethical moment. Every act of the body, mind, 
and soul will be a unit; the body will be developed 
and immediately responsive to the soul's action 
along the line of the slightest resistance. 

It is then of vast importance for us to discuss Changes brought 
this hypothesis with the greatest care, for if it be second'hypothesis. 
true, its acceptance means infinite changes in the 
direction of higher development. It means the 
realization of possibilities undreamed of in the 
■common ideal; it means an acquirement of skill 
and technique in the direction of adequate expres- 
sion far exceeding any known results. 

In considering this hypothesis it is well for us to 
ascertain if there be anything analogous to it in 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

speech acquired 
under the second 

" Baby hab- 


Making without 

human development outside of designed educa- 

Speech, that mode of expression which presents 
the greatest mechanical difficulties, is, and always 
has been, acquired under this general hypothesis, 
with this exception, thought, expressed by oral 
language and intensified by expression, is far from 
being intrinsic. A child acquires the forms of 
speech, including pronunciation, with all its ele- 
ments, forms of idioms, or general arrangement of 
words in sentences, under the immediate impulse 
of a desire to express thought. It is true there 
are spontaneous preliminary exercises, " baby 
babblings," instinctive actions on the part of the 
child, which bring in time the various muscular 
coordinations of the organs of speech under the 
control of the will ; but the main work of learning 
oral language is done entirely under the motive 
or desire to make others understand one's own 
thought. Forms of speech are learned by imita- 
tion, but the incentive to practise speech comes 
entirely from a desire to express thought. The 
countless difficulties and obstructions found in 
learning speech are steadily overcome by constant 
practice in the exjDression of thought. Vocal music 
and the gestures of a child are acquired in pre- 
cisely the same way. 

Making, or the complete realization of individual 
concepts in external forms, presents the fewest 
difficulties in the aj^plication of the second hypoth- 
esis. If making be controlled by the function of 
the object made, all details, skill, and technique 
may be acquired with comparative ease. If, on 
the contrary, jjarts of an object are made without 
direct relation to the whole, parts that have no 

Acquisition of Forms of Thought Expression. 293 

function in themselves, that are of no use except 
when adjusted or united with the whole object, 
then the motive, especially with a child, is not 
definite, and the mental action consequently weak. 
The child will easily overcome difficulties — for in- 
stance, the making of joints, of measuring and ad- 
justing part to part — if he is controlled by the 
motive of function; that is, his action at every 
step will be stimulated by the desire to have the 
article made adapted to its use. This is the funda- 
mental principle of the Sloyd. 

In order to fully discuss the second hypothesis, 
and prove, if possible, its truth and capability of 
application under adequate teaching, the following Q^gg^j^^j^g j^^^ .j^^ 
questions must be answered : discussion. 

(1) Are there sufficient opportunities to exercise opportunities for 
and therefore develop adequate skill in each and tie development 
every mode of expression under the impulses of 

intrinsic thought ? To put the same question in 
another way : If the central subjects of study, the 
sciences, geography, and history, are made the 
essentials of school-work for eight years, and the 
various modes of expression are used whenever and 
wherever they are needed to intensify the thought, 
will there be practice enough to acquire the tech- 
nique of writing, modeling, painting, drawing, etc.? 

(2) Are the exercises in skill, or technique, jg the techniaue 
adapted at every step to the abilities of pupils ? adapted to the 
Or, to put the question negatively: If pupils are^j^^^j" 
required to write, draw, etc., only under the im- 
pulses of thought, will not the technical difficulties 

be so great as to repress thought and cripple eifort ? 
In still other words. Is it not necessary to acquire 
skill in form-making beforehand, in order to lessen 
the effort when later forms may become of practical 

294 777/^5 on Pedagogics. 

use ? Is it ever necessary to have purely formal 
work ? Must there be exercises in form for 
form's sake? 
Adequacy of skiu. (3) If it is possible to acquire skill in forms of 
expression under the second hypothesis, is it the 
more economical method of acquisition ? Will 
the skill acquired be equal to that gained by direct 
and isolated form-making ? 

I will answer the first question in relation to the 
conceptive modes of expression; the conceptive 
modes being, it will be remembered, the complete 
expression of individual concepts by train- 
ing, and the partial expression of concepts in model- 
opportunities for ing, painting, and drawing. Are there sufficient 
exercise of art. opportunities for the cultivation of these forms of 
expression growing out of the immediate needs of 
Geograpiiy. educative thought itself ? Let us take geography 

as an illustration of the countless opportunities 
afforded. Geography is the study of the present 
appearance of the earth's surface. It is a study of 
forms by direct observation as in field lessons, or 
by imagination when the forms lie beyond the 
sense grasp. I have already shown the organic 
relation of observation to the conceptive modes 
of expression. A child observes a portion of the 
earth's surface; an immediate demand to model 
that surface in sand brings jts concept into con- 
sciousness, and intensifies the products of observa- 
tion. As an initial step, there is no other means 
so easy of execution, or so. effective, as a demand to 
model that which a pupil has observed. Drawing 
Modeling in sand, or chalk-modeling of the surface should imme- 
Chaik modeling:, ^ijg^i^giy follow modeling in sand. These expres- 
sions of concepts corresponding to surface forms 
gained by observation, are the indispensable means 

Acquisition of Forms of Thought Expression. 295 

of cultivating the imaginatiou ; tliey require the 
simplest and easiest efforts. The concepts of 
surface forms, hills, valleys, slopes, and the like, 
need not be, from their nature, exact; they demand 
the broad sweeping lines instinctively employed by 
children, and do not require accuracy so far as defi- 
nite limitations are concerned. The child's con- Demand for exact 
cepts are exceedingly crude, and a demand for an *^°"'^®p"°*^^"*^^-* 
exact corresi^ondence to any external form forces 
him to make something that in no wise corre- 
sponds to his own concept, and destroys the springs 
of art — spontaneity and genuineness. 

The products of observation are used in apper- 
ception for the construction of mental pictures of 
surface which lie beyond the material horizon. 
Here again is a wide field for the exercise of art. 
If the teacher admits no effort that is not genuine, 
the pupil must imagine the general nature of the 
surface that he models or draws. The mere copy- copying maps not 
ing of maps, like all copying, has the lowest educa- art. 
tive influence, and worse than that, prevents a real 
study of surface by the interposition of conven- 
tional forms. An art critic— and every teacher £yej.y teacher an 
should be one — can detect instantly the vast differ- art critic. 
ence between pure products of the constructive 
imagination, and the base alloy of typical forms 
and barren imitations. The field for art in geog- 
raphy is practically unlimited, and furnishes no 
end of objects for initial practice. 

Closely related to geography is the drawing Geology. 

* There is an essential difference between the adequate 
correspondence to a concept, and the adequate correspond- 
ence to an object. The first may be exceedingly crude, 
and still be adequate ; the second must be by its very 
nature perfect. 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

necessary for geology, or the expression of thouglit 
gained by observation of the changes in the earth's 
surface through erosion and other causes, — draw- 
ing of river or brook cuttings, pictorial desci'iptions 
of the action of the wind and water upon the earth's 
surface; in a word, the effects of the action of the 
elements and forces continually changing the 
earth's surface by wearing and building. Geology, 
like geography, furnishes countless objects for 
modeling, painting, and drawing, with the differ- 
ence that in this subject observation must be closer, 
and therefore expression more accurate. 

The study of minerals makes modeling, paint- 
ing, and drawing a necessity; the closest observa- 
tions of the forms and colors of minerals can be 
brought about by a demand for conceptive ex- 

In physics and chemistry ingenuity may be 
taxed by the invention and construction of simple 
apparatus. An experiment is to be made, and the 
pupils must show the projoer and exact conditions: 
this leads to the drawing of each piece of appara- 
tus, followed by its making. This manual train.- 
ing breaks the rigid sequence properly required 
by Swedish Sloyd, but the intensity of motive 
aroused by the adaptation of the work to the ex- 
periment more than compensates for the deviation. 
It may be found possible to discover a sequence in 
apparatus-making preferable to the sequences of 
the present Sloyd. 

In botany, the modeling, painting, and drawing 
of leaves and flowers, of trees and shrubs, — indeed, 
of all kinds of plants, — afford infinite opportuni- 
ties for effective art expression, stimulating and 
guiding observation as in no other way. Painting 

Acquisition of Forms of Thought Expression. 297 

should have a very prominent place in the study 
of botany. Leaves, bushes, and trees, to the eyes 
of the child, are patches of color; outline is not 
definite, but color is. Nature tells beautiful stories 
by color, shade, and tint. To draw a definite out- Painting. 

line of a leaf or flower is not an initial step in art; 
through color the life of a plant is revealed to the 
child, and he should give it back as he receives it. 
The result may be a crude, unrecognizable daub to 
the art (?) teacher, but it is beautiful to the in- 
genuous child, and more beautiful to the teacher 
whose aim is to arouse self-effort, whose purpose 
is genuineness, and who feels " the future in the 

Everything in education should be, judged by 
its tendency, — not what it is at the present mo- 
ment, but whither it is going. The courage to be courage to te 
crude is the only path to success. The point of crude, 
criticism with the teacher should always be, " Did 
you tell by the picture what you wished to tell ? " 
Modeling and painting are the initial steps to 
drawing. An effort to force a child to make an 
acctcrate drawing of anything at first is absurd, 
not to say wicked. 

Zoology, in this essential work of preparation, zoology. 

presents many and excellent opportunities for 
modeling as well as painting. What a child in- 
tuitively recognizes in an animal is character, re- 
vealed to him by its attitude or bearing. With a 
lump of clay he will express, very crudely to be 
sure, the character as he conceives it. This is the 
beginning of true art: if rightly guided, it will 
steadily grow ; but if the demon of accuracy enters 
at first, talent flies, and genius is "cribbed, con- 

298 Talks on Pedagogics. 

History. Geographical drawings in relation to history are 

indispensable. Any attempt at a knowledge of 
history without a clear image of the surface or 
structure upon which described events have taken 
place, is well-nigh fruitless. In history, architec- 
tural drawings and paintings which illustrate the 
art of given periods, or peoples, may be made. 

Countless oppor- The proper study of the central subjects will 
of present opportunities without number for the ex- 

thougiit. pression of thought through the concej^tive modes 

of expression. There is indeed no limit to the 
opportunities, and every effort may be made a 
means of enhancing thought. I believe that these 
• facts will be granted on the part of every one who 
understands the relation of art to the discovery of 
Comparison of re- Contrast the results of isolated drawing lessons 
•"'^t^- two or three times a week under a special teacher 

who has very little knowledge or sympathy with 
the main work, with the results that may be ob- 
tained when art is related to all the central subjects, 
and effectively used to reinforce them. Under the 
former plan we have comparatively little practice 
in art; under the other, the necessities of the main 
studies make the practice continual. The groat 
advantage sjjeech has, in mechanical execution, 
over other modes of expression is that it is in con- 
stant use; and it may well be argued that tlie 
partial failure of art in education is due to the fact 
that its relation to other subjects has not been 
understood, and consequently few oj)portuuities 
presented for its use. 
Best method to de- Granted that the opportunities for art practice 
veops ... ^^.g unlimited when made a continual means of 

acquiring knowledge iu all studies, a far more 

Acquisition of Forms of Thought Expression. 299 

difficult i^roblem remains: Is ttie Dwdeling, paint- 
ing, and drawing growing out of the study of the 
sciefices, geograplig, and history best adapted m 
technical execution to the groiving abilities of cliil- 
dren f Are not the difficulties too great in this 
direction, and will not the child's efforts be 
swamped in them ? Is it not necessar}^ to have 
man}' preliminary exercises in technical details to 
prepare pupils for the seemingly difficult expres- 
sion of intrinsic thought ? -We meet here the 
prevailing argument that springs from an apparent 
necessity for a logical arrangement of difficulties, Logical arrange- 
sequences of adaptation to energy. History is full ™^"** 
of illustrations of supposed logical sequences. illustrations. 

The names of the letters must be learned. 

Words must be learned before a sentence can be 

The child must make the sounds of letters before 
he can read a word. 

It is necessary to make elements, principles, 
single letters, before a sentence can be written. 

Addition must be acquired before multijjlication. 

In drawing straight lines, curves, triangles, 
squares, rectangles, must be made as indispensable 
preliminary exercises. 

These are only samples of the many illustrations 
of logical sequence claimed to be paramount 
necessities in teaching. 

The principle of logical arrangement is funda- Logical arrange- 
mentally wrong: it fails to recognize the sponta- "^^ut wrong, 
neous powers of the child. It leaves out of the 
reckoning what the child has already acquired. 
It shows a complete ignorance of a child's method 
of acquiring knowledge and skill. Tliat tchich is 
ignored constantly in the child is motive, thought, 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

previo7(S development, and the imparalleled energy 
witli luldch it over-comes difficiilties and cof)i7na?ids 
skill. Untold energy is wasted upon the acquisition 
of dead forms. Under the theory of concentra- 
tion, each act of expression springs from and is 
dominated by strong desire to express thought. 

^,.„. The sequences in technique are adapted and con- 
Sea rence of diffi- ^ IT, 
cuities perfect, form at every step to the thought to be expressed ; 

the mechanics of expression is adequate to the 
conscious activities to be expressed, the sequence of 
difficulty is thus made perfect, and the development 
of skill will be in the highest degree economical. 
Crudeness of con- The only way in which one unskilled in these 
cepts. forms of expression can appreciate the extreme 

crudeness of a child's individual concepts is to at- 
tempt to model, paint, draw, or even to describe 
accurately some familiar object. When a child 
paints a leaf, for instance, the result is a daub, a 
blotch of color, — not in every case, perhaps, an ex- 
act correspondence to his concept, but the best in- 
dication of it. The child is pleased generally with 
his work; any dissatisfaction, however, shows that 
the correspondence of the " daub " to the concept 
is felt to be inadequate, and that a desire to do it 
better is aroused. This felt inadequacy is the true, 
yes, the only, line of criticism. Through the ex- 
pression the teacher watches the action of the 
pupil's mind; he judges whether the expression 
equals the concept, and thus infers whether the 
pupil is lacking in skill, or in thought. In this 
Genuineness. process, genuineness, the intrinsic quality of art, is 

Under the theory of logical sequence of form 
development, the principal demand is for an accu- 
racy and an exactness which conform in no wise to 

Acquisition of Forms of Thought Expression. 301 

the concept. Tlie results of this are a straining 

after an effect that does not correspond to an 

adequate cause, and a lack of genuineness that kills 

art feeling. It is supposed that the drawing of „, 

& ii ^11 X ^Flat-copy draw- 

straight lines, curves, angles, etc., leads up to and ing. 

makes possible the ability to express conscious ac- 
tivities by drawing. If such a result has ever been 
realized, it has not fallen under my notice. But 
even if it accomplished the desired end it would 
be, at best, a makeshift. Why should a child draw 
lines from flat copies when the object itself pre- 
sents through color nothing but lines and surfaces ? 
A drawn straight line is a rectangle, or better, a 
solid. The true line is the judgment of the meet- 
ing edges of two surfaces. In drawing an object, 
the judgment is called into jjlay at every moment; 
thus, observation is stimulated as it can be in no 
other way. 

I once entered the art-room of an excellent piat-copy study 
school; it was a beautiful place for the practice of '^s* ^^t'"^^ ^^'^'^y* 
art studies: light and airy; the windows wreathed 
with ivy; pots of geraniums and other plants 
standing upon the broad sills; through the panes 
one could behold a lovely park, greensward, and 
magnificent trees; the pupils were hard at work 
draiviug leaves from fiat copies. They were mak- 
ing accurately and exactly, with painful pains, the 
rigidly unnatural and conventional forms of foli- 
age; forms that when stamped in the brain shut 
the soul from the life and glory of a landscape. 

The only excuse for flat-copy drawing is the false 
demand for abnormal and niind-cripj)ling accuracy. Accuracy abnor- 
True accuracy has only one normal relation, and ^^' 
that is its relation to adequate expression of 
thought; constant effort in the direction of ade- 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Confidence of the 

How to criticise. 

Do not destroy 

quate tlionglit expression is the rue way and means 
by which adequate shill is acquired. The false 
assumption that a child must be accurate or noth- 
ing, leads to the abnormal demand for minutely 
detailed forms, and is a preparation which never 

Did you ever see a little child go to the black- 
board to illustrate a fairy story, or to give free rein 
to his budding fancy ? His self-confidence only 
equals his delight to express what he feels. With 
broad free lines, he draws hills, valleys, trees, 
bushes, houses, and people; no fear of mistakes, 
no ajDprehension of crudeness. Here is unity of 
action, self-confidence, and childish freedom. 
Step in, teacher, if you dare, aiid break that 
unity of action, destroy that self-confidence, with 


witherinsf notions of 


! Tell the 

youthful artist that he has drawn all sides of the 
hill and the house, that the chimneys are totter- 
ing, that the trees are falling over, and that the 
men and women are skeletons. The child has 
done his best; please do your best; make one sug- 
gestion, — for instance, '" You do not wish to have 
your chimney fall over, do you ? " 

Kemember that ease and equilibrium must pre- 
cede precision, that the child is telling the story as 
he feels it, and that he will feel it better and tell 
it better if you give the help that he needs, — help 
that will not destroy his beautiful self-confidence, 
and crush out his delight in the work. That mo- 
ment is a dangerous one for a child — indeed for 
any one — when the critical faculty surpasses skill. 
That is the reason why we do not learn to draw, 
my fellow teachers. If we could become " as a 
little child," we might acquire a skill that has 

Acquisition of Forms of Thought Expression. 303 

hardly an equal in teacliing power. Pace by pace, Critical power 

the critical power should keep step with skill, and ^"^ sMuf ^ 

both steadily move to higher levels. Recognize 

weakness, sympathize with it, and lead it with a 

loving hand toward the full strength of complete 

manhood. Eemember, above all things, that it is 

not the rude sketch on the blackboard, but the soul 

of the child ; not what he has done with chalk, but 

that which is done in the child's heart under the 

motive and the action of doing. The divine Pes- 

talozzi said, "Education is the generation of Education is the 

power." Watch that power as you value immortal e^eneration of 

souls, develop that power as you believe in God and 


Another questionable method that has a more xte typical meth- 
reasonable basis than the theory of logical sequence od. 
is that art should begin with the Ujpical, with the 
final generalized types of objects, and that the line 
of advance is from the general to the particular. 
It is truly shown that the infinite variety of shapes 
may be generalized into a few conventional forms, 
such as the sphere, the cube, tLo cylinder. The 
argument is, that having perfect (?) concepts of 
these typical forms, the particular shapes in which 
these tyjDes may be differentiated can be more 
effectually perceived or apperceived. There is a 
very important truth in these statements, but, like 
other truths, it is, too often, sadly misapplied. 

The normal movement of mind is from particu- inductioii aud de- 
lars to generals, from crudeness, obscurity, towards Miction. 
clearness, distinctness, adequacy; this movement 
is inductive. Deductive movement is from gen- 
erals to particulars, when it is possible; that is, 
when general notions become mental powers 
through processes of induction. With a child, it 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

The modeling:, 
painting, and 
drawing of typi- 
cal forms, niak- 

Development of 
art feeling. 

is a long road from tlie crude concept to the clear, 
and the distinct. Modeling, painting, or drawing 
typical forms is maJcing, pure and simj)le, and 
making with no other purpose than the mere ex- 
pression of a concept; the object made is of no use, 
as in the Sloyd; it does not embody thought, as in 
art; motive is at the lowest ebb. The making 
of typical forms should be confined to manual 
training, in which the making of a combination of 
such forms may be an article of practical use, and 
therefore hold attention and expression under that 

There are no typical forms in nature, the great 
storehouse of art studies and the realm of the 
beautiful : here every shape deviates from perfect 
form; it is irregular and individual; it expresses a 
definite character which differs from all other char- 
acters; it is art to find that character and express 
it. Form and color are manifestations of the in- 
visible; true art transcends mere imitation of 
either. No matter how crude the child's ingenu- 
ous modeling or drawing may be, you see in his 
work an attempt to express something more than 
mere form or color, you are struck by the motive or 
feeling; the drawing may be out of joint and the 
perspective wholly bad, but there is an indefinable 
something that makes you certain of an attempt to 
express thought. 

This indication of feeling is the germ of art; be 
careful not to crush it by injudicious criticism, 
either of blame or j)raise; nourish it, give it count- 
less opportunities for exercise, make it the centre 
of well-considered suggestions that will lead the 
young artist to be a true critic of self, — of his own 
thought and skill, — and art may thus be made one 

Acquisition of Forms of Thought Expression. 305 

of the most influential factors in education. If 
accurate work and typical forms are demanded as 
initial steps in art, then our second question must 
be answered in the negative. Modeling, painting, 
and drawing cannot be used to intensify intrinsic 
thought, when there is no thought — outside of the 
concept in itself. 

But if genuineness is made the sine qua no it of Cultivate gena. 
art training; if crudeness, daubs, and even blotches, ^'^^°°^^' 
with a faint show of feeling, are gladly accepted 
because they are genuine expressions of the child; 
if art is made the principal means of intensifying 
the thought continually evolved in all the central 
subjects; if pupils strive to express thought ade- 
quately, and in the striving become acute self- 
critics; if nothing is expected or demanded of 
pupils except the honest manifestation of that 
which they feel; if development of thought 
demands of itself development of skill, — then the 
way is open and the method plain; by no other 
plan of teaching will the demands of technique 
conform to individual ability, and consequently 
present the efficient means for ever-increasing skill. 
Of all the shallow, heartless sayings, "Art for art's Art for art's sake, 
sake" seems to be the culmination and climax. 
"Money for money's sake," " Knowledge for 'the 
sake of knowledge," are comparable phrases. 
There is nothing in this universe that is not for 
the sake of human souls and their salvation. 

The theory of concentration brings art home to Theory of concea 
every child; makes it an incomparable means of ^^^^^""^ ^^ ^** 
personal education; discloses hidden springs of 
beauty; turns its vast influence upon intellectual 
power; cultivates the most exalted emotions and 
the noblest motives; leads to an absorbing love of 

Drawing intro- 
duced for commer- 
cial value. 

306 Talks on Pedagogics, 

the beautiful in nature and art; unites it with all 
other conditions of educative work; but best of all, 
it takes art from its isolation and renders it a com- 
mon good. 

-., .. ,„ , I have not the sliditest doubt coucerninff the 

Direction of art •= ° 

studies. direction of art in education: it is to be made the 

strongest aid to attention, the mightiest hel]) to 
observation, and the most powerful stimulus to 
the imagination; it is to become an indisjiensable 
auxiliary to all study. But I have grave doubts 
in regard to the length of time it will take to bring 
art home, and place it among the infinite possibili- 
ties of human development. 

Drawing was introduced into our schools for the 
purpose, — not of intrinsic value as a means of edu- 
cation, but as a means of training skilled artisans; 
the end determined the means and the method, 
the road to artisan work seemed to be through 
artisan training. This motive isolated drawing 
from all other subjects ; special schools were estab- 
lished for it; special teachers were trained to do 
the work. The special teachers degraded art 
through misdirected attempts to exalt it; and on 
the other hand, the regular teachers, failing to see 
the relation of drawing to every other subject, 
have had little sympathy with it and, besides, little 
or no skill to teach it. 
Pioneers of art I would not have you understand that I do not 

teaciimg;. appreciate the earnest, honest efforts that have 

been made by the pioneers of art studies all over 
the country; they have done the greatest of works, 
— they have made pi-ogress possible. There must 
be beginnings ; still it should be remembered that 
beginnings, like majorities, are rarely right. Very 
little has yet been done in the "new direction ; in- 

Acquisition of Forms of Thought Expression. 307 

deed, every thiug is new ''' in that education which is 
to set human souls free. The principles are nearly 
nineteen hundred years old, but the application 
still awaits the teacher. 

Art awaits the teachers, teachers inspired by the Art awaits the 
truth, with some insight of the marvelous possi- 
bilities of this subject; teachers who, with an 
understanding of its great value in education, will 
have the courage to carry its inestimable blessings 
to every child. 

" iS'eLO in rcliiliou. 


Talks on Pedagogics. 



In teaching, demands for expression under 
each and all the modes should be demands for 

Gesture. educative thought. Gesture, it can easily be con- 

ceived, is a primitive mode of expression, out of 
which are evolved making, modeling, painting, 

Vocal music. drawing, and writing. Through vocal music the 
aesthetic and emotional nature is enriched, the 
vocal organs and instruments of speech developed. 

conceptive modes. All the conceptive niodes stimulate and direct 
observation, exercise imagination, and concentrate 
mental energy. Each and every mode has its 
special educative function. Of the discussions of 
the mechanics and functions of the various modes 
of expression, speech and Avriting alone remain. 

Speech and writing, up to a recent period, have 
been almost exclusively used as a potent means in 
education; but it remains for us to inquire, never- 
theless, whether they have been used to the best 
possible advantage, and whether improvements 
cannot be made in their use and development. 
The mechanics of speech consists : 

(1) In making, through the use of the breath, 
vocal and non-vocal, and the various adjustments 
of the organs of speech, distinct sounds or ele- 
ments — forty, at the very least calculation. This 
process is enunciation. 

(2) These sounds are joined or articulated in 

Speech and writ 

Mechaaics of 

speech and Writing. 


words. The Jirticiilation of words requires as Articulation. 
many positions of the organs of speech as there 
are elements in the word. Between the utterances 
of two sylhibles of the same Avord there is a per- 
ceptible pause, and still longer pauses between 
words and sentences. 

(;3) In words of two syllables, there is a slight Accent. 

iiiHection or accent upon one of them. 

Pronunciation, or the making of oral words, pronunciation 
consists of: 

(a) Enunciation of each element. 

{b) Articulation of the elements. 

(c) Accent upon one syllable, of words of more 
than one syllable. 

{d) Perceptible pauses between two syllables in 
the same word. 

(4) Sentence-making, or the joining of words The idiom 
into arbitrary conventional or idiomatic relations. 

(5) Between successive words there are pauses, Pauses- 
longer or shorter, indicating the relation of words, 

phrases, and clauses to the whole sentence. 

In idioms w^e have the relation of words, phrases, gyntax and ety- 
and clauses in sentences, or syntax; the variable moiogy. 
forms of words, or etymology. 

Pronunciation and sentence - making may be 
called the mechanics of speech. 

Back of articulation is voice, — a mode of expres- 
sion parallel with, and as spontaneous as, gesture. 
.The instinctive attributes of voice are, — pitch, attributes of 
force, and quality, with the varying elements of voice. 
stress, inflection, rhythm, emphasis, etc. By in- 
stinctive attributes are meant the direct reflexes 
of conscious states. These are projected into and 
become essential qualities of acquired speech, or 
articulate voice. 


Talks oil Pedagogics. 


The mechaiiic'S of speech. siiiL^le :iiu] combined, 
is acquired b}' imitation, if we except the potent 
influence of analogies. Whatever hmguage, dia- 
lect, pronunciation, idiom, correct or false, a child 
hears becomes its halnt in the use of oral language, 
and once sunk into tlie automatic, fixed in habit, 
is changed with the greatest difficulty. In pro- 
nunciation and syntax, the child imitates only 
sounds and unities of sounds; it cannot copy the 
placings and positions of all the vocal organs, for 
the good reason that all cannot be observed ; they 
are hidden from view. 

Hearing or understanding language must of 
necessity precede the effort to speak. The corre- 
spondence of oral words and sentences must be as- 
sociated in consciousness with their appropriate 
ideas or activities. 

From the awakening of conscious life, the pro- 
cess dates: First, a period of ten months or a year 
in hearing-language. This period is marked by 
" baby babblings," the instinctive use both of voice 
and the organs of speech ; the daily and hourly 
Learning- to talk, practice by which the infant finally learns the use of 
both, bringing them under control of the will, 
is generally unmarked by parents and educators 
who see in it merely the baby's delight in " makiiiii; 
a noise." This constant and persistent effort to 
enunciate and articulate leads naturally to the 
higher processes, to the making of words, the join- 
ing of words into phrases, and, at length, into 
sentences. Two years' practice is sufficient with 
the average child for the mastery of the element- 
ary sounds, the pronunciation of a limited vocabu- 
lary, and the pruotical syntax or use of simple 
idioms. There is probably no acquirement in 

speech and IVritiiig. 311 

tifter-life that equals this overcoming of the diffi- 
culties of speech on the part of the child. The 
method of this wonderful acquisition, did we but 
know it, is a perfect method of learning all lan- 
guages; and the closest study of this method of 
nature should not, because it is so common, be 
undervalued by parents and teachers. It is, as it 
were, " catching Nature in the act." The ques- 
tion cannot but present itself: If a child ac- 
quires so much in so short a time, during the 
undeveloped state of infancy, why is this natural 
instinctive method not taken advantage of ? 

Imitation is the absolute basis in acquiring 
mechanical forms, but imitation in itself is only a 
secondary and subservient factor in learning lan- 
guage. Behind every mechanical effort is an Thought energy. 
energy that directs and controls the action of the 
organs of speech. That energy is : 

(1) Motive to make others understand. 

(2) The thought to be expressed. 

(3) The exercise of the will in control of thought 
and expression. 

The thought and emotion which impel to vocal 
expression manifest themselves in emphasis, rhyth- 
mic cadence, melody and harmony, varieties of 
force, pitch, and quality, by which the thought is 
discriminated, and the character of the emotion 
demonstrated. These factors of voice are instinc- spontaneous fac- 
tive and spontaneous; they are the direct reflex of t^^s of the voice. 
conscious activities, and can he cultivated only as 
fli ought and emotion are developed and expressed. 
To attempt to imitate melody, emphasis, and har- 
mony is to caricature thought expression. Stress, 
distinct enunciation, articulation, and pronuncia- 
tion are dominated and impelled by tlie desire to 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

make others understand. The moTement of the 
spoken language in its development with the child 
is along tlie exact line of the movement and growth 
of its thought; the language conforms strictly to 
the thought, and keej^s pace witli it in co-ordinate 
Unity of action, exercise. The unity of action is perfectly main- 
tained at every step; this is shown by the melody, 
harmony, and perfect emphasis of the child : it 
never makes a mistake in empJiasis. 

Is it possible to continue this unity of action in 
all the future steps and stages of education ? The 
child enters school with physical, mental, and 
moral powers developed by six years of constant 
action. " It has learned more in the first six years 
of its life,"' says Hegel, " than it ever afterwards 
AH improved can learn." All improved methods of teaching 
™om°a^kn^ow^edge ^^^^^ ^^^^'^^ 6^®^ ^®®^ discovered spring from a study 
of the child's of the spontaneous activities of the child — his 
knowledge and power, his methods of learning and 
skill — before entering the school-room. Eight 
methods in school are simply the continuation of 
nature's methods. An unnatural method, which 
moves onward in zigzag instead of straight lines, 
obstructs or deflects energy; for whatever intellect- 
ual power a pupil acquires must be acquired 
w'ature's methods, through natural methods — those methods which 
spring from and are guided by the inherent ten- 
dencies of the being. The method under which 
children acquire the j)Ower of speech can never be 
improved; but it may be enhanced by new matter 
and changed conditions. 
Writing. Another mode of expression confronts the child 

at the door of the school-room — that of writing. 
Its influence upon education may be made as 
potent as that of speech. When should a pupil 

spontaneous ac 

speech and VViiiiiig. 313 

begiu to write ? That depends upou the child, wheu should a 
Some children are boru five years old, and some ^^^g ^ ^^^ ^° 
are not born nntil they are five years old. This 
question, then, mnst be answered for each child. 
When a little child exhibits a desire to write, let 
liim try; if the attempt is successful, the time has 
come. There is nothing mysterious or essentially 
difficult in the act of writing; the mechanics of 
penmanship is exceedingly simple — in fact, it is 
more easily acquired under a natural method than 
any other mode of expression. 

All written forms consist of simple — straight and ^^aiysis of pen- 
curved — lines; in the small letters there are thirty manship. 
straight lines in exactly the same relative position 
— eighteen of the same length, and twelve of vary- 
ing lengths. These straight lines constitute the 
principal parts of all the small letters except 
e, 0, c, and s. The straight lines are connected 
by simple curves in five or six different positions. 
All the capitals consist of ellipses, compound and 
simple curves. Compare the utter simplicity of 
these forms of penmanship, the results of compar- 
atively simjDle adjustments of arm and hand, with 
the complexities of enunciation, the results of the 
almost infinite adjustments of' lungs, larynx, and 
the organs of speech. 

The argument of })revious preparation holds 
here as well; for the arm and hand have been con- 
stantly exercised in functional use — manipulations 
in making, drawing, and imitative acts of writing. 
The pen, if it is good, with easy-flowing ink, re- 
quires the least possible physical energy to man- 
age, and, under skilful instruction, in which the 
pupil is not made unduly self-conscious, is very 
soon under control. 


Talks oil Pedugo^ics. 

Wkat a child 
brings to the 
workol learning' 
to write. 

Learnine: to talk 
and learning to 
write, compared. 

The pupil comes to the work of learning to 
write with six years' active use of th.e wiiole body — 
six years' exercise of tlie miiid, and six years' prac- 
tice in speech, 'i'he mechanical difficulties of 
writing are very much less than tiiose of speech, 
although speech has the advantage of the absence 
of any artificial addenda, a more continuous prac- 
tice, and a stronger and more instinctive impulse 
from the thought side, for — 

(1) The motive in speech is keener, as the desire 
to make some one understand immediately excites 
the will, while in writing this incentive is generally 

(2) In writing one may have thought and emo- 
tions, but they find no expression in emphasis, 
melody, and harmony. 

(3) The vocal organs are adjusted to the action 
of speech. 

(4) Exercises in hearing-language and speak- 
ing are more continuous and common with chil- 
dren than writing. All these advantages of 
speech -may be overcome in a measure by using 
the natural method. 

Children Avho have been made self-conscious 
wdiile learning to talk, if taught to write properly 
will use the written form of expression in recita- 
tion more easily than that of speech. This is the 
explanation, nine cases out of ten, why, given the 
same facilities for practice, one mode of expression 
is so much more at command than another. In 
speech, because of youth and a more natural en- 
vironment, children generally preserve unity of 
action. Unity of action requires the minimum 
expenditure of physical energy for intelligible or 
legible expression. The vocal organs are iustinc- 

speech and IVi iting. 315 

tively adjusted; in writing, liowever, tlie muscular 
co-ordiuations, the adjustment of the body and its 
agents to unity of action, are less a part of in- 
heritance; consequently, in order to l3ring about 
the necessary repetition required to make such 
habits as must be fixed sink quickly and uncon- 
sciously into the automatic, the highest art of the 
teacher is required. The question of the perfect The test pcssjb'!'? 
attitude and position of the body, and the move- j"^"""^ ^"^ ^'"*' 
ment i-equiring the least possible physical energy 
for legible writing, is one of the first importance, be- 
cause the unlearning of a bad habit is a much more 
serious thing than the acquirement of a good one. 
A smooth line is an infallible indication of ease 
in writing. The first point to be settled is, — in Smootiiiin/'. 

what position and by v/hat movement can a smooth 
line be made with a pen ? 

(1) Place yourself before a desk of the proper 

height; rest the forearm easily and lightly upon it. Desk. 

There should be no tension caused by raising the 
arm too high, or dropping it too low. 

(2) Sit in a chair that will allow you to i-est the 

feet flat ujion the floor, the legs forming an obtuse chair. 

angle at the knees. 

(3) Sit square to the front of the table or desk, 

providing the full forearm can easily rest upon it ; Position in reg-ard 
otherwise sit at the slightest possible angle that*"*^"^' 
will allow you to rest the forearm wholly upon the 

(4) Have the forearm form an obtuse angle at 

the elbow with the upper arm. Forearm. 

(5) Place the forearm parallel to the right and 

left edges of the paper, and in moving the forearm Paper. 

*Desks and chairs tliat can be adjusted to cliildren, are 
very much needed. 


Talks oil Pedagogics. 

Tte angle of 51 


from left to right, keep it j^arallel with the right 
and left edges. 

(6) Let the wrist rest without pressure flat upon 
the paper. 

(7) Let the pen rest between the thumb, the 
index and second fingers. 

(8) Let the pressure of the pen upon the paper 
be equal upon both nibs. 

The whole body should be in the easiest possible 
position for the required action; the energy should 
be withdrawn from the arm, which should rest upon 
the desk with the least possible tension of muscle. 

In this position, draw the arm down, with no 
purpose but to make a straight line; the angle 
thus made will ie between 51° and 52°. This 
movement following the prescribed position re- 
quires the least expenditure of energy to make a 
smooth line; indeed, it may be doubted whether 
smooth lines in w-riting can be continually made 
in any other way. A smooth line requires a rapid 
movement of the pen. The movement across the 
page from straight line to straight line is made in 

I have given in detail the fundamental prin- 
ciples of the American or Spencerian handwriting. 
Its discoverer found the law of the easiest^ move- 
ment consistent vnth legiMlity, and, at the same 
time, ivitli the greatest economy of j^hysical action. 
Finger movement. The value of the arm-movement can be best ap- 
preciated by contrasting it with the finger-move- 
ment. The latter movement demands a constant 
tension or contraction of the muscles of the fingers. 
In proof of this I have but to ask you to recall a 
room full of pupils writing with their fingers. 
Let us note results and positions: 

Principles of the 
American hand- 

speech ami Writing. 3 1 7 

(1) The letters are made slowly, with an undue 
expenditure of physical energy. 

(2) The lines are rough, no matter how sliarply Rough Unes. 
cut and distinct the letter may be. 

(3) The hand is deformed by unnecessary ten- Deformed hand. 

(4) The whole body conforms to the deformity 
of the hand; the feet, the head, the shoulders, the 
trunk and the face give evidence of painful effort. 

(5) If by persistent effort a determined drill- 
master makes his pupils assume the right position, 
the constraint becomes more painful, for deform- 
ity of the whole body relieves for the time the 
deformity of the hand. 

But the climax of difficulty is reached when Making the slant 
teachers, as they do in great numbers, train //^p/y with the finger- 
pupils to write the slant iiuj hand wit It the fitxjer- 

The slant required (51° — 52°) is perfectly 
adapted to the arm-movement, hut wholly unnat- 
ural for the finger-movement. The finger-move- 
ment, when natural, is perpendicular or vertical. 
The renaissance of the old-fashioned Englisli 
"pothooks and hangers" is a strong protest Ei^s^^^-^ "pot- 
against the body-crippling struggle to make slant- hangers." 
ing lines with the fingers. If the fingers must go 
up and down in writing, ])y all means allow tlie 
children to move their digits as easily as possible. 

The strong reaction in favor of perjjendicular 
penmanship, I repeat, has its origin in long-con- 
tinued attempts to make slanting lines Avith the 
up-and-down movement of the fingers. The sole 
reason for the slanting line is that it is made with 
the least possible expenditure of physical energy. 

The strongest reason wliv the tino-er-movenient 


Talks on Pedagogics. 


Diffusion of nerve 



Reason against sliould not be used is given in the talk upon unifii 
the finger-move- ^,f ^fctioH. Nei've currents according to the latest 
authorities in child-study,* are, distributed very 
slowly from the spinal cord to the bodily extremi- 
ties. This fact gives us the reason why children 
move more freely and naturally in broad lines or 
curves, and why the attemjit to train the extremi- 
ties and lead Iheiii to make short lines and curves 
before due strength has been received from the 
centre, recich upon that centre, weakening and 
('ri))pliiifl the irhote hody. Slate-writing, or the 
painfully slow movements of the fingers in jmsh- 
ing the ]>encil over a resisting surface, is a com- 
mon illustration of the manner in which the body 
is ignorantly weakened. But the crippiling of the 
physical organism does not tell the whole of the 
sad story; the muscles of the fingers and .fore- 
arm become more and more tense and contracted; 
the wrong habit becomes fixed, and where con- 
stant use of the pen is demanded writer's cramj) 
is the inevitable outcome. 

Advocates of vertical jjenmanship point to the 
unhealthf Lil positions of pupils. They say : " The 
disease to be attacked is Bad Writing and Bad 
Health, the twin children of slojjing writing." 
The bad positions and consequent deformity of 
the body are due to the attempt to make 
the slope by the up-and-down movement of the 
fuKjers. Making the slant with the fingers causes 
them to be twisted to the right, thus inducing 
unnatural tension and constraint. The vertical 
line requires the least effort on the part of the 
fingers. The sloping writing was looked upon 
merely as a " fashion," a "fad," for the time; no 
* Dr. J. Stanley Hall. — 


Making the slant 
with the fingers 

speech and IVritiug. 319 

regard Avas paid to the principle which underlies 
it, and the poor children were tanght to do a right 
thing in an unnatural wa3^ Argument in 

There is one insuperable argument, if true/^\°^ °^ ^^^^"*^ 
brought in favor of vertical writing, and that is 
the supposition that the slant affects binocular 
vision unfavorably. If this be granted, it is a 
sound argiime7it for vertical writing, but no argu- 
ment against arm-movement, because it can be 
shown that vertical writing, as well, is best made Best verticzi 

Jul the ann-movemeiit. Clianqe the anqle of //(g writing by the 
-' J ii J arm-movement. 

vaper to the forearm, and the thing is done ; ver- 
tical writing is there, and the arm-movement 
remains. Indeed, every argument goes to prove 
that writing with the whole arm, reinforced by the 
easiest and most natural position of the body, is 
the only normal, healthful j)osition. 

But the argument for the arm-movement is by 
no means completed when the mechanical and 
optical difficulties of writing and reading are 
shown to be in its favor. There are two hy- 
potheses that may be applied to penmanship, 
the first, as follows: First hypottesis. 

All forms of writing, including spelling, punc- 
tuation, spacing, and capitalization, should be ac- 
quired in a purely mechanical way, with no rela- 
tion to thought, so that in the future, when thought 
is to be expressed, these forms may be ready for use. 

The methods, devices, and details of mechanical njgtjj^jjjg „£ fi^^gj.. 
work, under this hypothesis, are well known toniovement. 
most teachers of experience; they have many vari- 
ations, improvements, and changes that are not 

(1) The careful drawing of elements, principles, 
and letters upon slate or paper. 


Talks on Pedaoooks. 


Tracing letters. 

(3) The combination of letters into words, and 
words into sentences. 

Copy-books. (3) The nse of copy-books for six or more years, 

beginning, as before, with elements and principles, 
followed by words and sentences, all to be copied 
by the page with painful exactness. 

Written speUing:. (4) Written spelling, supplementary oral spell- 
ing, writing from dictation, and recollection of 
long lists of words and sentences; copying para- 
graphs from the reader. 

(5) Occasional attempts at writing original sen- 
tences and compositions. 

The above work is often varied by tracing 
letters, words, and sentences. Much precious time 
is spent, much hard work or drudgery is given 
to this painful preparation for the expression of 
thought, when it comes. The writing is generally 
very slow, except when by an extravagant expendi- 
ture of energy the cramped fingers are made to 
move over the page with rapidity. 

The second hypothesis, that of concentration, is 
as follows : All forms of writing, including spell- 
ing, punctuation, spacing and capitalization, may 
be adequately acquired under the immediate im- 
pulses of intrinsic or educative thought. The 
method under this hypothesis perhaps ]ieeds more 
explanation than that of the first. 

Method under (1) Educative original thought is developed, 

second hypothesis, throughout the course of eight years, by observa- 
tion, reading, study of the natural sciences, geog- 
raphy, myth, history, literature, form and number. 
The principles of this concentrated study have 
been explained in former lectures. The sources of 
continual interest are the discoverv of facts, the 

Second hypothesis. 

speech and Writing. 321 

making of origiual inferences, and the delights of 
observation and imagination. 

(3) Precisely as speech has been acquired, writ- writing: acquired 

ing is learned, with this great difference: skill in ^""f!^ ^® , ^ 
» . ' . . -, n „ 11 • speech IS acauired. 

writing is acquired under far more favorable cir- 
cumstances than it is in the acquisition of oral lan- 
guage; these are observation and imitation of ex- 
cellent copies made by the teachers, and above all 
the continual excitation of interesting subjects of 
thought. To these acts the child brings all his 
experience, skill, and power, gained by six years' 
constant practice in thinking and the skilful use 
of his body. The guidance of the teacher is sys- 
tematic and logical, adapted to each personality. 

Tfie main tiling and ttie true tiling is tJiat tliere Fundamental 
is personal energy, jjersonal motive, and intrinsic principle of arm- 
tliouglit, impelling every attempt ; energy, motive,^^^^^^^ ' 
and thought which develop the feeling of rigid and 

Closely related to writing are manual training, 
modeling, painting, drawing, music and speech, all 
enhancing the skill to write, and each strength- 
ening the other; all, in turn, concentrated upon 
thought power. It may be well to further explain 
these principles by giving some details of the 

The little folks of the first grade enter at once 

. '^ 11-, Method of teach- 

upon the study 01 science, mytli, and history ; ing children to 
speech, modeling, and painting are freely used to write illustrated, 
develop thought. At the right time, a prominent 
word is needed; it is given orall}^, and then written 
rapidly and well by the teacher upon the black- 
board, " Who can give me this word as I have 
given it to you?" Every hand will be up. A 
quick, effective glance at the word by the sparkling 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Copying not 


Writing original 

Reading script 
and print. 

Method not an 
easy one for the 

eyes, — the luorcl is erased, — and the little ones 
write the word. The results will be crude and 
leautiful, the writing will be characterized by 
broad, sweeping lines; the work will be done 
rapidly; a mental picture of the word will be 
closely held and quickly expressed. If the chil- 
dren are allowed to copy the word, the writing will 
be much slower and less effective. The children 
read aloud with delight the word they have writ- 
ten. This is the beginning of reading, writing, 
and spelling. I should have said that some lessons 
in reading from the blackboard should precede 
the first attempts > to write, the written words 
springing directly from the thought. After a few 
words written upon the blackboard, the children 
may try a whole original sentence, the expression of 
a thought first expressed orally. In a very short 
time children under skilful training will acquire 
a wonderful power of writing original sentences. 
They then read their own sentences orally, or, bet- 
ter, tell what they have ivritten ! If the lessons 
written upon the blackboard are printed, the chil- 
dren will read them as readily as they do script 
from the board. The pupils, after they have ac- 
quired some skill in writing u]Don the blackboard, 
take pens and write, with the same sweeping arm- 
movement, upon paper. Here may now begin 
some drills in pen-movement alone. 

From these initial steps on, through the eight 
years, writing is made a potent means of intensify- 
ing and relating thought and recapitulating sub- 

If I have made this method seem easy for the 
teacher, I must correct the mistake. First of all, 
the teacher must be an excellent penman ajid 

speech and Writing. 323 

blackboard writer. Pupils will imitate their 
teacher with the greatest accuracy, not only her 
writing, but her manner of writing. Clear, legible, 
and rapid Avritiag on the part of the teacher is 
more than half the victory in training pupils to 

The writing of the teacher, however, important Penmanship of the 
as it is, is but a tithe of the influence that must be teacher, 
brought to bear. The main thing is the tact, skill, 
and power to excite interesting related thought in 
the minds of the pupils. 

I have discussed this matter in every lecture 
that I have given, and still enough in this direc- 
tion cannot be said. Arouse the energy and set 
it free ; " complete the organic circuit," as Dr. The crganic cir- 
Dewey says. When a child writes a word, he^"^*' 
gives back what he has received and just as he 
received it; it passes over the optic-nerve tract, 
and is immediately " discharged " through the 
arm and hand. 

I have thus briefly illustrated a remarkable if a wonderful dis- 
not wonderful discovery in the art of teaching. <^°very. 
The discovery consists in the fact that children 
can write words upon the blackboard with the 
same power and ease that they pronounce them. 
By the skilful application of this discovery, 
all the painful and painstaking drudgery of 
carefully drawing elements, principles, and let- 
ters, of slowly copying words and sentences, is 
entirely unnecessary. The fact is proved beyond 
a doubt that a child is capable, impelled by intrin- 
sic thought and guided by skilful teaching, of writ- 
ing rapidly and easily whole words and original 
sentences. The first results, as I have already said, 
will be crude, just as the first attempts at speak- 

324 Talks on Pedagogics. 

ing are crude; but under thoughtful direction they 
may be steadily improved. The true inwardness 
of this simple device is that the child takes great 
delight in exj)ressing his thought with the crayon, 
and practises as naturally and unconsciously under 
the desire to tell his written story as in previous 
years he lisped, in imperfect numbers, his spoken 
Oraireadine ^^^ ^^^® ^^^^ steps m teaching reading, writing 

may be made a far more effective means than oral 
reading. As I have already said, the child gives 
back the thought Just as he receives it. When 
writing a word under the impulse of thought, the 
acts of association are made continuous and effec- 
tive. No device for the first steps in writing has 
ever been found more satisfactory than writing 
upon the blackboard. Blackboards, it goes with- 
out saying, should be so constructed as to present 
the least possible resistance to the movement of 
the arm.* The crayon should be of the best 
quality. The child writes with his whole body; 
he stands with perfect ease; the arm moves with a 
broad, easy swing, rhythmic and beautiful. When 
a word is written by the teacher and immediately 
erased, one glance of the eye is sufficient to mirror 
the word in consciousness; the child holds it by 
an act of tlie will and immediately reproduces it. 
Thus, rapid writing is made a necessity. The 
same can be said of the making of original sen- 
tences. The child thinks quickly; that is, the 
movement of consciousness is very rapid; the 
thought is discharged through the arm as soon 
as it is felt in consciousness. 

* Blackboards for primary-school use should be made 
fiut more th a two feet. Uyo iuches fioiii the floor. 

speech and Writing. 325 

Slow writing cannot he the expression of ininic- Arguments 

diate thought. In slow writing the whole energy *^*^®* ^^"^ 


of the mind is absorbed in the recollection and 

reproduction of words alone. Writing, to be the 
immediate expression of immediate thought, must 
keep pace with the movement of consciousness. 
The slowest movement of consciousness requires 
comparatively rapid writing. In speech the ac- 
tivities of consciousness are instantaneously " dis- 
charged " through the vocal organs, and the reflex 
action of the expression upon thought is perfect. 
In slow Avriting, written words are recalled, or Slow writing not 
speech is slowly translated into written forms. . In * ^'^^ 
either case^ there can be no immediate or intense 
thought action. Strong, vigorous thinkers can 
rarely write slowly; if their skill is imperfect, 
readers and compositors are driven to their wits' 
ends to translate their scrawls. If such persons 
should attempt to write slowly enough for legi- 
bility, thought action would be greatly impeded or 
stopped altogether. 

The proposition is, then, that writing should be 
made educative from first to last. By educative Educative writ- 
writing is meant — first, intrinsic thought ; second, ^ 
its immediate expression through the arm upon 
paper. Such acts of expression react upon the 
thought expressed and intensify it. Educative 
writing is an economical means of sharpening and 
directing observation, of cultivating the imagina- 
tion by description, and of developing the power 
of original inference; slow writing is not educa- 
tive, or, to say the most, is indirectly educative. 

The arguments in favor of rapid writing seem Argnmtnta in 
to be unanswerable. ^^Snl""**" 

(1) Rapid writing is directly educative. 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Spelling:, ptmctu- 
atioE, and capi- 


Skill in writing: 
sunk into the 

(2) A smooth line is an indispensable factor in 
good rapid writing. It is a snre indication of pos- 
sible improvement in form and rapidity; while the 
rugged lines and letters made by the fingers rarely 
improve in legibility after three or four years of 
practice in school. Writer's cramp is directly 
traceable to finger-movement. 

(3) Spelling, punctuation, capitalization, are 
most economically acquired by writing. Written ex- 
aminations, recaj)itulations of subjects, abstracts of 
studies, and compositions are prominent factors in 
education. By slow writing, much time is squan- 
dered in these exercises. The more rapidly a pu- 
pil is able to write, — provided, of course, he writes 
legibly, — the more work can be done in a given 
time. By using the arm-movement from the first, 
unity of action, unity of consciousness, brain, and 
hand may be perfectly maintained. This unity 
of action is an absolute necessity to freedom of 
thought; when energy is absorbed in johysical 
action, it is withdrawn from thought action; there- 
fore the thought action is greatly impeded, if not 
altogether stopped. 

(4) The arm-movement is perfectly adapted to 
tlie best, and therefore the most healthful, attitude, 
and under even the most constant practice does 
not lead to a crippling or deforming of the body. 

(5) Skill obtained by the arm-movement is easily 
sunk into the automatic, and requires the least 
possible mental energy in manipulation ; while the 
slow, painful movements of finger- writing demand 
a continual muscular tension that reacts and in- 
hibits mental action. 

To sum up, rapid legible writing may be easily 
made an exceedingly efficient means of mental and 


speech and [v-'riUng. 327 

physical development. B}^ it all the forms of 
language and of grammar may be economically 
acquired, and writing made just as efficient a 
means of education as speech itself. 

The function of speech and writing in education Function of speech 
is to intensify intrinsic or educative thought, aud*^*"*""^**"^' 
to enhance its quality. The motive of speech and 
writing is to interpret self to others. The stronger 
the motive, the more intense will be the thought 
action, and consequently the more intelligible or 
legible the expression. All forms of language are 
most economically shaped and molded under the 
white heat of thought in the action of expression. 

Speech and writing are the direct complements Relative value of 
of each other in their respective functions; each f^^^*^ '"^ ^fm - 
has an office which the other does not perform so 
effectively, and which, in turn, mutually enhances 
the other. Sj)eech springs more immediately from 
the impulses of thouglit, and is reinforced by the 
spontaneous reflexes of consciousness; rhythm, 
emphasis, and gesture; the movement of speech 
is more rapid than writing. The slower move- 
ment of writing requires a slight hemming and 
consequent deliberation and elaboration. The 
motive of speech is the immediate understanding, 
while that of writing, with the exception of the 
first steps, is the expression of thought for after- 

Speech is generally more fragmentary and un- 
connected than writing. Writing may be effec- 
tively used to relate lines of thought in general 
descriptions, summaries, recapitulations of lessons, 
topics, and subjects. 

Eapid writing should be freelv used in all reci- ^^'^'^^T**!?^ *" 
. ^ . ° " be used in all reci- 

tations. To illustrate: pens and ink are in good tations. 

32S Talks on Pedagogics. 

condition and read}- for action; the teacher, by 
induction, leads up to an original inference or a 
generalization. The teacher asks the final ques- 
tion, and hands are up for answers. " Write it," 
says the teacher. The written answer will be a 
test, at the same time, of the pupil's personal power 
and the teacher's skill. At the beginning of the 
lesson, the teacher requests a brief summary of the 
previous lesson. In laboratory- work, writing may 
be effectively used in taking notes. 
Preservation of It is a good plan to preserve the written work 
written woris;. ^^ pupils in some convenient case or box, so that 
jjupils may occasionally examine their own writ- 
ing and thus make note of progress. 

It is not my purpose to present methods and 
devices in detail; I wish rather to show by prin- 
ciples and a few illustrations how efficiently speech 
and Avriting may be used as n direct means of men- 
Eight yeai-s' prac- tal development. The proposition is that from 
ticeinspeecnand ^^ j^st, throughout the course of eight years, 

writing. T - . ° o J 

speech and writing m the study of the central and 

auxiliary subjects may be made a powerful and 
influential means for the development of the whole 
being; that the unity of action may thus be pre- 
served ; that all the forms of language, pronuncia- 
tion, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, etymol- 
ogy and syntax may be thoroughly and economi- 
cally mastered. 

These claims are indeed great, but they demand 
thoughtful consideration because the theory seems 
sound and because they have been partially proved 
by careful and critical teachers. 

Eight years' constant work in experimentation, 
investigation, observation, and study of the cen- 
tral subjects and their auxilij^-ries; eight years 

speech and Writing. 329 

spent in processes of reasoning and collecting data 
for correct original inferences; eight years in the 
discovery, assimilation, and application of divine 
laws; eight years in the continual use of speech 
jind writing as an indispensable means of educa- 
tive thinking ! Contrast this scheme with eight 
years spent (the greater part) in purely formal 
studies. Consider, if you please, the precious 
time saved and the power gained if all the count- 
less opportunities for the expression of thought in 
the study of geograph}^ science, and history are 
taken advantage of. 

There remains another important question for Methods of teac'i- 
closer discussion, and that is the much-mooted ^"^^^ 2:rammar. 
subject of methods of teaching grammar. Gram- 
mar has two functions in education, namely: 

(1) The correct use in speech and writing of Purpose of teach- 
the conventional forms of language, those forms ^'^^ ^'^^°^°^^^' 
which are sanctioned by the best usage. 

(2) The cultivation of the power to understand, 
to gain a clear and close insight into meaning, the 
ability to " penetrate thought." Thus grammar, 
properly taught, should enhance the power to 
study, to read, and to understand speech. In a 
^ligher sense, grammar is the elementary study of 
Knglish and of philology, and, still higher, it is a 
substantial basis for the study of psychology. 

Although English is a comparatively grammar- English a gram- 
less language, still what there is of grammar mariess language, 
should be thoroughly mastered: it siiould be 
taught in all grades of the elementary school. 
The question is simply and solely, Hoio should it 
he taught f Should it become the warp and woof 
of all teaching; should every lesson in every sub- 
ject be a lesson in grammai'? or, should grammar 

33<5 Talks on Pedagogics, 

be made an isolated subject, tanglit for itself and 
by itself? We have plenty of experience under 
the latter method, which proposes to teach lan- 
guage for future use. Under the hypothesis of 
constant adaptation to present conditions, lan- 
guage is taught for immediate use, precisely as 
ing grammar as speech is acquired for immediate nse by the little 
an essential factor child ; the language at every step conforms to 
eac mgf. ^ijQ^^g]-^^^ jg evolved with thought, springs out of 
the necessities of mental action and is adequate to 
it: in other words, the body of language grows 
with the soul of the thought. 

Three things under this hypothesis are abso- 
lutely necessary : 

(1) That pupils have continuous opportunities to 
exercise the highest powers of the mind of which 
they are capable upon the central subjects of study; 
that the sole aim of the teacher be the exercise of 
the reasoning faculties and all the other faculties 
which make sound reasoning possible. 

(2) That pupils be led to express what they 
think by speech and writing; that writing be 
made very nearly as common a mode of expression 
as speech. 

Correct langnage. (3) That the teacher make sure that the lan- 
guage used in both speech and writing is correct, 
that it conforms strictly to the rules of best usage. 
The child, when he enters school, may have 
The child's incor- acquired inaccuracies in speech by imitation of 
gnag-er patterns at home. There is only one feasible plan 

for changing these incorrect habits, and that is by 
giving him countless opportunities of using the 
correct forms, supplemented by hearing and read- 
ing the best literature and language. Good, and 
even elegant language used by the teacher, whose 

speech and Writing. 331 

keen sensitive ear and quick sharp eye detect and 
coi'rect at once the slightest mistake, is worth more 
as a means of teacliing than the best text-book on 
grammar ever made. 

Tlie pertinent questions just here are: AVhen,Rcies, definitiors, 
by this plan, should the accidents of grammar be a^^sis.^" 
introduced ? When should definitions, rules of 
syntax, and the like, be taught ? What place 
have j)a'rsing and analysis in this scheme ? One 
comprehensive answer may be given to all these 
questions : Whenever and lolierever, throughout the 
cmrse, a part of sjjeech, a fact of etymology, a defi- 
nition, explanation, rule, or general direction, a les- 
son ill parsing or analysis, will directly assist 
pupils in comprehending or adeqiiately expressing 
thought, any and every detail of grammar sliould 
he freely presented and freely used. 

The necessities in the evolution of thought and 
language should determine in detail the use of 
grammar. Some suggestions in this direction may 
be given : 

(1) Proper nouns may be taught with the use of Or<ier of teaching: 
capitals. frr-SS^"*'"' 

(2) When it assists mental action to know ob- 
jects in classes, the common nouns may be taught. 

(3) The plurals of nouns and the possessive case 
are properly adjuncts of spelling, and are to be 
taught incidentally as the spelling of the word is 
taught, namely, by use and without calling atten- 
tion as if things apart or particularly difficult. 

(4) Pronouns may be taught by using them in 
writing original sentences. 

(5) Irregular verbs may be made a matter of 

(G) Rules of syntax, in certain cases, may be 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Use of parsing and 

Economy of plai 

Oral reading. 

profitably explained and learned when they are 
violated in speech and writing. 

Parsing and analysis have very little to do 
directly with expression. Analysis, especially, 
may be used throughout the course as an excellent 
means of comprehending printed language, pro- 
viding always that the language is worth compre- 
hending and is directly correlated to the subjects 
studied. The power to read and study text with 
intensity, to understand quickly and thoroughly, 
is of the first importance. Analysis, properly used, 
Avill enhance this power. 

The great economy of the plan here briefly out- 
lined is apparent : 

(1) The time and energy of pupils are expended 
ujion intrinsic or educative thinking. 

(2) Language, both spoken and written, with all 
the forms of pronunciation, spelling, punctuation, 
cajDitalizatiou, etymology, and syntax, is acquired 
under the immediate impulses of educative mental 
action, every act of expression reacting and 
strengthening thought. 

(3) Both writing and speech are made the effec- 
tive means, in all grades, of learning to read and 
of cultivating the power to understand the printed 

Writing, I have already argued, is the best possi- 
ble means of teaching the first steps in reading; 
next to writing as an efficient means of develop- 
ing the power to read, is speech or oral reading. 
Oral reading differs from ordinary speech only 
in the use of the words of another; the chief 
difficulty in the use of the writings of an author 
lies wholly in the peculiarity of idiom, — the spon- 

speech and Writing. 333 

taneons factors of speech, rliythm and emphasis, 
remain the same. 

The motive in oral reading is the main thing to Motive m 01 a: 
be cultivated; it consists in developing a strong '^^^'^^^°- 
controlling desire on the part of the oral reader to 
make others understand his thought. This mo- 
tive should dominate all action in reading. The 
method of oral reading should be directed entirely 
from the standpoint of motive, which standpoint 
should determine all criticism. The one question 
from first to last is, Do you make yourself under- 
stood ? Pronunciation, emphasis, attitude of the 
body, in fact everything, should be controlled by 
this motive; without it, there can be no effective 
teaching of oral reading. The end and aim of 
oral reading is to sink the mind into the thought 
to such an extent that the action in reading be- 
comes unconscious and automatic. When a criti- Criticism of read- 
cism, however, brings attention to a fault, that ^^^' 
fault should always be in relation to the effective- 
ness of the reading in the minds of the hearers. 
The intellectual purpose of oral reading is, as in FuBction of oral 
all the other modes of expression, to enhance ^^*'^^^^* 
thought in the mind of the reader. The demand 
for oral reading should be a demand for intensity 
of thought action. Under the motive of making 
others understand, the thought action will be en- 
hanced — become more intense. The attitude of 
the body is controlled by the motive and thus 
strengthens the expression; and the reaction of 'the 
exi)ression, in turn, intensifies the thought. 

If, however, the reader's motive is to pronounce Bj^gffg(.^g(,f 
words, the ethical is lost sight of. If the intellect- divorcing words 
ual action consists of mere corres])ondences to the ^^^^ ^^^ *' 
fornis of the n'ords, there is no adefjuate intellect- 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Is it possible to 
preserve the 
child's beauty of 
speech ? 

The child uncon- 
scious of forms of 

ual action; the whole being is controlled by one 
purpose, — the pronii nciation of words. The attitude 
of the body is constrained and made tense when it 
should be absolutely free and supple; the mind is 
constrained, unity of action prevented, and energy 
wasted. To sum up the whole matter, the serious 
fault in the teaching of reading coasids in mukiufj 
oral reading an end in itself. 

Is it possible to carry over the child's beauty 
and perfection of speech to his utterance of 
thought in oral reading? If we take the history 
of the past in reading, this question will be an- 
swered in the negative; under the prevailing meth- 
ods there must be much purely mechanical work 
done before the child is able to express orally, 
in the idiom of tlie author, the thought aroused 
by the printed page. It is held that it is abso- 
lutely necessary to go through a process of me- 
chanical utterances in order that the child may 
become able to express printed thought orally. 
Leaving in abeyance any mistakes the child makes 
through defective speech and models which he imi- 
tates, the child's voice is well-nigh perfection. No 
human being in ordinary speech makes mistakes 
in emphasis. In a child's voice, the unity of 
action is absolute; its rhythm, melody, harmony, 
and emphasis are well-nigh perfect, because of the 
unconsciousness of the child in regard to forms of 
expression. His speech is the result of automatic 
action. This freedom of action is obstructed by 
the alphabetic, phonic, and phonetic methods, in 
fact by any and all devices by which the child's 
attention is directed consciously to the forms of 
the words and their analysis. 

I have shown in the discussion of reading that 

speech and Writing. 335 

this obstruction is entirely unnecessary; in fact, it 
is the antipodes of the laws of mental action. A 
child can be trained to look at a sentence and read 
it orally with the greatest. ease. By following one 
rule in teaching oral reading, the unconscious 
beauty of automatic speech may be preserved; 
never require a child to read anything that is not ^''ii'**™^^*^ ''°i^ 
intensely interesting to him, and never allow fl' reading. 
child to read a sentence orally until he has the 
thought. By following this simple rule, the fresh- 
ness and vigor of the voice may be maintained and 
the expression of oral reading have its fullest effect 
upon thought itself. 

If the unity of action in oral reading is once can broken unity 

broken, can it ever be restored ? This is a question °^ action be re- 

^ stored ? 

that elocutionists have vainly endeavored to an- 
swer. There is no doubt that much may be 
effected by proper methods, but still the fact re- 
mains that there can never be a complete restora- 
tion of true freedom in expression if in the first 
year of a child's training in the art of oral readiiig 
his conscious activities are absorbed in the forms of 

The value of tho oral language when properly 
used as a means of developing mental power can- 
not well be overestimated. 

Probably the most effective use of language in Art of question- 
teaching is questioning. A questioii is a direct "^^• 
means of awakening in consciousness certain defi- 
nite activities. A teacher watches with great close- 
ness the action of the pupil's mind. This action is 
watched by means of oral expression. A question 
quickens that action, corrects any mistake, leads a 
pupil to concentrate more closely upon the subject. 
If the pupils use words that they do uot under- 

• 336 Talks on Pedagogics. 

stand, a right question immediately makes them 
aware of that fact. Questions are used to relate 
thought. The teacher should always have a d'efi- 
nite purpose; that purjiose generally stated is to 
lead the pupils to make original inferences. If by 
the answer the proper inference is not made, it 
may be that the pupils have not observed enough, 
have not read enough to make the inference; then 
the question leads them to desire to make further 
investigation. Questioning is a mighty power in 
the hands of the teacher; if properly conducted. 
A good question is one that arouses the right 
desire in the minds of the pupils, and leads to 
intensity of thought. 

In concluding these discussions of the modes of 
expression and their educational values, allow me 
to say that the principal obstruction in the acquisi- 
tion of forms of expression in all the modes, is 
caused by an over-estimation of tlie seeming diffi- 
culties ]3resented in the acquisition of skill and 
technique. Methods of teaching expression, to-day, 
are replete with formal details to be overcome with 
little or no regard to the powerful impulses of 
intrinsic thought. AVhen the vast resources of the 
central subjects and their auxiliaries are scientifi- 
cally used for personal development, and practice 
in each and every mode of expression is brought 
to bear upon thought intensity, skill and technique 
will be acquired with great facility. 

School Government and Moral Training. 337 



The purpose of a school is educative work. By Purpose of school. 
educative work is meant self-eifort in the direction 
of personal development. School order is that 
state or condition of a school in which the best 
educative work is done in the most economical 
manner. The process of education consists in 
presenting conditions for educative acts on the 
part of the individual. Method is the special Method, 

adaptation of educative conditions to individual 
needs. Teaching is the presentation of conditions Teaching and 
for educative self-effort. Training of the body^^^^s^- 
consists in the presentation of conditions which 
develop the body, and make it a more efficient 
means of receiving and manifesting thought. 

A school is a community; community life is in- Commnnity life. 
dispensable to mental and moral growth. If the 
act of an individual in any way hinder the best 
work of the community, he is in the wrong. The 
highest duty of the individual is to contribute all 
in his power to the best good of all. This prin- 
ciple is the sure guide to all rules and regulations 
of a school. How much noise shall there be in 
the school ? Just enough to assist each and all to 
do their best work. How quiet shall it be ? Just 
quiet enough to assist each and all to do their 
best work. How much whispering ? What shall 


be the rules for coming in and going out? For 
punctuality ? Every ru-le of a school, in order 
that it may be of educative influence and be felt 
to be right by each pupil, consists in carrying out 
Fnndamentai rule this motto — "Everything to help and nothing to 
of order. hinder." The first essential to true manhood is 

to feel the dignity of life, and that dignity comes 
from a sense of responsibility for the conduct of 
rest of a school. There is but one test, one genuine test, of a 
school, which may be explained by two questions : 
First, is every individual in this school doing edu- 
cative work in the most economical way ? Second, is 
that work the best for the whole, and at the same 
time the best for each individual ? If the answer 
to these questions is in the affirmative in regard 
to any school, then it can be said to be in order. 
The perfect ideal of order is that each and every 
minute shall be filled with that work which best 
assists each and all in growth and development. 
Initial steps in The initial steps in inducing the government 

here defined are indeed the most difficult. Chil- 
dren enter school with marked habits of inatten- 
tion, with a cultivated -dislike for work, and fre- 
quently with the feeling that the teacher is their 
natural enemy. The question, then, of first im- 
portance is. How can habits of work or self-effort 
be induced ? This question cannot be easily 
answered, but certain marked factors in it may be 
Highest cnitiva- mentioned. The highest qualification of a teacher 
tion of a teacher, is a dominating love for children, manifested by a 
strong desire to assist them. The second qualifi- 
cation, an outcome of the first, is that a teacher 
must be deeply in love with the subjects of study; 
in other words, must be a persistent, close student 

School Government and Moral Training. 339 

of the subjects taught. Third, he must have 

power and skill in the manifestation of thought. 

And, fourth, he must have the courage of his con- courage. 


It is common to humanity to worship power, 
and children, above all other persons, have this 
inborn tendency. A teacher who has a high grade 
of skill in singing, in drawing, in oral reading, — ■ Skiu. 

in fact a skill in any or all the modes of ex- 
pression, — has a rare opportunity to initiate and 
cultivate habits of work on the part of pupils. 
The influence of the teacher's personality, moral 
and intellectual power, and skill, never can be over- 
estimated ; every act of the teacher is perpetuated 
in the conduct of his pupils. 

A knowledge of each pupil's individuality, gained Knowledge of the 
by intuition and the study of j)sychology, is a neces- "^ "''^ ° • 
sity with a teacher. Tact on the part of a teacher. Tact, 

means the presentation of conditions adapted to 
the individual effort. Next to tact, and dominated 
by it, comes the courage which is born of a high 
ideal, great love for children, a clear concej)tion of 
what they need in growth, and the power and per- 
sistence in a skilful presentation of the right con- 
ditions. Children feel and admire courage in a 
teacher. Courage manifests itself in quietness, in 
poise, in the appearance of reserve force, never 
threatening and never yielding to wrong. Chil- 
dren know instinctively, from a short study of a 
teacher, what stands before them in the way of 
work. The highest duty of a teacher is to direct 
the energies of the pupils, and to this task he must 
address himself from the outset. 

One very important suggestion may here be 
made, A teacher should never lose a moment's 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Trivialities. time in trivial tilings, but go directly to the most 

interesting work. Children, however indifferent 
tliey may be at first, soon ajopreciate a demand for 
edncative work. Prejudices and purposes which 
tend to disorder may be overcome by an immedi- 
ate demand on the part of the teacher for sucli ac- 
tion as will lead the pupils to forget all their bad 
intentions. No matter how much courage or in- 
tuitive tact and skill a teacher may have, if the 

Work. children are not led immediately to work, if the 

conditions are not adapted to the absorption of the 
mental and moral powers of the child, then con- 
trol must be gained by arbitrary means. 

Order defined. Order limits personal energy to educative work. 

Educative work is that self-effort needed for the 
education of the whole being: body, mind, and soul. 
This question still remains, and Avill remain as an 
everlasting and unsolved problem: What is the 
work which educates ? One general answer may 
be given : The exercise of the mind in the acquisi- 
tion of that knowledge most needed for personal 
power and present use. 

But knowledge is boundless, and your pupils 
can get but a drop of the ocean. What knowledge 
shall you present them in the years you have them 
under your care and guidance ? What rule shall 
govern you in the selection ? The answers are not 
far to seek: your selections can be entirely gov- 
erned by what each individual pupil needs for his 
personal development. He needs that knowledge 
which will enable him to best serve the school and 
world. The two answers are one: the needs of the 
school and the world are the needs of the individual. 

History. "i'^i© child should study history. Why ? Be- 

cause history is the record of the struggle of the 

Selection of sub- 

■ School Government and Moral Training. 341 

liumau spirit to acquire freedom. He is to go 
through a like struggle if he would be free. His- 
tory is the path to freedom, over miseries untold, 
over battle-fields, over wretchedness and woe. The 
child is the inheritor of the experience of the past, 
and history presents him with that inheritance. 
This rich inheritance is to be given to all; the 
child may be a mediator. Who can understand 
history without the love of all mankind in his 
soul ? Love is an interpreter of history. 

Much is said about the development of patriotism True patriotism, 
in a child, and much more should be said. There 
is a kind of patriotism which may be called family 
love, and which limits efforts to the good of the 
family alone. There is another kind of patriotism 
which limits efforts to the community in which 
one lives, without regard to the good of others. 
There is a national patriotism, a love of one's own 
country, by which one's actions are controlled, in 
which the main question is. What is the immediate 
good of my people ? But, under, the light of truth, 
under the highest ethical motives there is no patri- 
otism in this world worthy the name, no true re- 
ligion, that does not embrace every child born 
under the shining sun. And in proportion as this 
motive controls the being, so will be the desire to 
study and know more of all humanity, its past 
history, its present conditions, its prospects for the 
future. Indeed, history, properly studied, has for 
its product a deep and profound sympathy through- 
out with the struggles of mankind for higher con- 

But history is v-ast and time is short : what par- selection of sud- 
ticular history should a child study in the eight Jects in history, 
years ? The history of American life, and the 


genius of American liberty: not, indeed, the his- 
tory that dates from 177G or 1492, but tliat history 
which reaches aAvay to the Magna Charta, to 
republican Rome, to Greece, to the hills of Pales- 
tine, to all the heroes and martyrs who have lived 
and died to make men free. The child should be 
led to feel the heart-beats of liberty in all ages; 
to feel in his soul the pricelessness of his inherit- 
ance; that he is bought with a price — the suffer- 
ing and blood of untold millions. Why ? That he 
may feel the responsibility of living; that he may 
put himself, a holy influence, into human life; 
that he may understand when he casts a ballot 
that he is choosing the right for his people and for 
the world. 

History properly taught joins the individual to 
the whole race, past and present, with bonds of 
sympathy and love. One can learn in no other 
way than by the unprejudiced study of history the 
breadth and depth of Christ's words: "Blessed 
are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." 

Biography. Biography should instil lofty motives, high aims, 

and the duty of heroic action. The student who 
knows something of the past, and from its lessons 
draws righteous inferences, is able to judge more 
correctly of the present needs of humanity. The 
immediate outcome of the study of history can be 
applied every hour in the community life of the 
school. What subjects in history should bg 
selected? Those subjects that have the strongest 
influence over right action in the schoolroom, in 
the home, and in the life. 

Science. Why should children study science? History 

is the path but science is the guide to freedom. 
Let it be remembered that science is the knowl- 

School Goveniment and Moral Training. 343 

edge of creation, and therefore of tlie Creator. The 
application of science is the economizing of energy, 
the secret of all progress. What science does a Selection of sub- 
child need ? That science which makes home 
better — better cooking, plumbing, better air — and 
improves all the means of health and sanitation; 
that science Avhich improves the fertility of the 
soil; which binds a nation together — nay, the 
world — by railroads and electric wires; which can 
be put to immediate and continual use. Science 
gives us inspiration, because it presents the means 
for a higher condition or development in the light 
of true motive. " All are needed by each one," 
and it can no longer be argued that the develop- 
ment of motive is narrow; it is as broad as hu- 
manity, as deep as the ocean of truth, as high as 
the throne of God. 

It is the present, the immediate use of knowl- immediate use of 
edge acquired, that arouses in children the highest ^owiedge. 
zest for learning. The adaptation of subjects 
to immediate practical needs is the sure guide 
to the selection of materials in the teaching of 
elementary science : the weather of each day, the 
vegetation of Spring, Summer, and Autumn, the 
needs of Winter, the geography of home, in fact 
the earth that pupils walk on, the air they breathe, 
the water they drink, their food and clothing, 
present an endless number of interesting and ; 

profitable subjects. In every lesson function or 
use leads the way. The lesson of lessons the child 
will learn is that God gives the universe to man, 
and regulates it by loving laws. Science is the 
essential means of cultivating an intelligent and 
all-controlling love for the Creator. 

Civics, when properly taught, enters into the civics. 

344 Talks on Pedagogics. 

child's life as a most essential factor; it is the 
science of mutual relations and duties. The little 
community called the school represents the best 
possible conditions for the cultivation of these 
relations and duties. There is never an hour in 
schoolroom life that does not call for positive 
exercise of every article in the positive code of 
morals universally acceded to by mankind. Why 
should a pupil study with all his might ? Because 

Mutual influence, his own example in work has the highest influence 
for good over others. The individual should feel 
that there is no means more potent by which to 
influence others than by doing that which is given 
him to do, in the best possible way. His per- 
severance, his struggle in overcoming difficul- 
ties, all have the strongest power to induce the 
same earnestness and zeal in others. Why should 
he desist from making undue noise, from distract- 
ing the attention of others, and preventing them 
from doing their best work ? The answer is plain : 
He is hindering the work of the whole school. 
Why should he not whisper ? Why should he be 
punctual and prompt ? Why should he march 
with a quick step ? Why should he be attentive 
to every word of the teacher ? The feeling on the 
part of the child will be perfect if right conditions 
are presented in this direction ; if he can be made 
to fully realize his relation to others and the rights 
of others. 

Class recitation l^^ ^ ^^^^^ recitation the teacher is there to 
present conditions for educative efforts on the part 
of each pupil; he watches every mental act with 
absorbing interest; he is very careful not to allow 
his own prejudgments to interfere with free men- 
tal action of his pupils, still holding them, how- 

School Government and Moral Training. 345 

ever, strictly to the subject in hand.) In open 
discussions individuality will show itself in a 
strong light : no two pupils will think alike, have 
the same concepts, or draw identical inferences. 
The chief value of a recitation consists in each 
individual contributing his mite of self-effort for 
the good of all, attrition of mind with mind 
changing and modifying the point of view. A 
teacher wlio is a genuine student luill receive far 
more from Ms piqnls than he gives^ust as a re- 
jection of a landscape luill luring but points and 
'perfections that are not felt in the general outlook. 
The sole motive of the teacher is to assist each Motive of tiie 
pupil to put forth his highest efforts;) and that 
which is true of the teacher is just as true of the 
pupil, whose sole motive is to assist all his mates 
in the best possible way, to present clearly and 
forcibly the side of the question that peculiarly 
appeals to his mind. This is and will be possible 
under the right conditions; but, per contra, when 
pupils are reciting for a mark, a per cent, a pro- 
motion, or to surpass others, their thinking powers 
are lamed and crippled, and their best energies are 
wasted. In the former mode of recitation there 
is a consensus of opinion, a comparison of views 
brought about by a determined search for the truth, 
in which all earnestly participate. The effect of Effects of recita- 
such a recitation is independent study, arous- 
ing interest and directing economical research. 
School life can thus be made ideal life, — a unity 
of individual lives under one purpose, that of 
interesting, educative, and therefore profitable 

The predominant condition, then, for moral Conditions for 
training is community life, the society of the°^°^ 


Talks on PedaMmics. 

school. The social factor in education stands far 
above all other factors, — higher than principles, 
methods, subjects, and even the teacher. It is not 
possible to educate a child at home by private 
tutors. "The greatest study of mankind is man." 
By attrition of mind with mind, knowledge of other 
characters, perception of weakness and strength, 
feeling of duty, generous competition, unselfish 
giving of one's self for the good of the community, 
the child acquires lessons more necessary to his 
well-being than by all of his book lessons in them- 

Glory of the com- The inestimable glory of the common school is 
that it contains all the necessary factors of an 
embryonic democracy. With the altruistic motive 
controlling the teacher and his methods, the con- 
ditions are perfect. Here measures and gauges of 
history are acquired by actual experience; here 
civics is essentially practised: the roots of after- 
life, the springs of action, are all here. Home is 
the centre; the church makes home better; but 
the common school is the place where the lessons 
gained in both may be essentially practised. Here 
classes learn to respect each other; the children of 
the rich and the poor; the intelligent and the 
ignorant are fused and blended by mutual action 
and mutual love. The common schools present a 
perfect means of moral training; order, work, and 
play all tending to the cultivation of true manhood. 

Ethics. Ethical life is ethical action; this action in 

school is expression under all its modes. The 
motive and zest of study are found in the mani- 

Ethics of sioyd. festation of thought. This is illustrated by sloyd. 
Dr. Salomon, its founder, insists that the controlling 
motive in making any piece of wood-work is the 

School Government and Moral Training. 347 

use of it. The cliild is controlled by the emotion, 
— " This is to be for father. This is to be for 
mother. This is to be for the household." In 
every cut of his knife, in every observation of his 
own hand-work, the whole child full of zeal and 
earnestness is concentred upon the use to be made 
of the object. If the object is imjDcrfectly made, 
its function is limited, or fails utterly. Under 
this guiding motive, steady, prolonged work is the 
result; difficulties that would otherwise seem in- 
superable are easily overcome'. 

That which is true of sloyd is just as true of the 
other conceptive modes of expression. Art is the 
fundamental means of telling the trutli. What Telling: the trutli. 
words, spoken or written, cannot do, the clay, the 
brush, the pencil, can do. Art is then an indis- 
pensable means of cultivating truth-telling. Any 
touch of truth in the soul demands expression. 
The pupil feels that his mates are interested in 
everything he says or does; the teacher is there to 
accept nothing but his best efforts. Music, speech, 
writing, making, modeling, paiiiting, and drawing, 
are at hand, for the manifestation of thought in 
all its phases. Every act of expression under true 
teaching is made an ethical act. Every demand 
for expression is a demand for the discovery of 

I have thus presented a glimpse of the educative 
work with which school hours and the hearts of 
children may be filled. There is not, neither can 
there be, any cause of disorder, except by lack of 
work which educates. All truly educative work 
is interesting; no one can ever study anything 
that is good without loving it. This statement 
no proof, for truth is the design of both 


777/^5 on Pedagogics. 

Order and moral 
training identi- 

Working hypoth- 
esis of moral 

Realization of 

study and expression; and truth is sweet, pure, 
and beautiful. 

True order and moral training are evidently 
one and the same thing, so that any discussion 
of moral training comprehends the discussion of 
school government. I shall not attempt to give 
anything like a comprehensive definition of moral- 
ity; my sole purpose is to show that the school is 
one continuous opportunity for righteous action. 

A working hypothesis is as necessary to a dis- 
cussion of moral training as it is to any other 
l^rocess of reasoning. This working hypothesis I 
find in the design of the human being. I shall 
take it for granted that the human being was 
created and designed for the exercise of the 
highest moral power; that in each individual 
there are germs of the divine; and that all edu- 
cation is the outworking of this design of God. 
However much evil there may be in heredity, 
however much there may be in the little child 
that is abnormal, notwithstanding tendencies that 
seemingly point toward evil, I shall take it for 
granted that the predominating tendencies of a 
human being are intrinsically moral, and that 
education consists entirely in the presentation of 
conditions for the exercise and outworking of moral 
poioer. Therefore moral training, which compre- 
hends all education, consists in that teaching and 
training which leads to the designed development 
of the child; the realization of possibilities for 
good and growth. If this hypothesis be granted, 
that education is the outworking of the design of 
God into highest character, into highest possibili- 
ties of individual development, then all education 
is, in itself, intrinsically moral. I repeat that odu • 

School Govenimeiit and Moral Training. 349 

Ciitiou is the outworking of God's design into char- Charactei 

Hcter; that all education is by self-eft'ort; that the 

process of education consists in presenting the 

right conditions for -personal self-effort; and that 

every self-effort that moves toward the outworking 

of the design is intrinsically light. Method is the 

perfect adaptation of conditions to self-effort, and 

therefore natural * method is in itself moral. 

Education involves the adaptation and presen- 
tation of all the conditions needed for personal 
development; therefore any embodiment of these 
conditions in a course of study, for instance, is a 
system of morality and ethics. There is absolutely N" separation of 
,. J! • . 1- i 1 1 1 • intellectual and 

no separation 01 intellectual and moral power m moral training. 

education. Morality is the direction of mental 
power, is the movement of the being upward. 

We will suppose — something wdiich is generally 
believed and very little practised — that all growth is 
by law, by the laws of the Creator. Method consists Law and morals, 
in the adaptation of the conditions necessary for 
the educative action of the whole being; in other 
words, method is the sjiecial adaptation of those 
conditions which bring about the highest action of 
law. Certainly self-effort in the direction of growth 
is moral, and method has for its sole purpose the 
right direction of self-effort. Natural method is 
the exact adaptation of subjects to the action of 
law; therefore natural method must be in the Morality of 
highest degree moral. method. 

I shall also take for a working hypothesis that 
education consists wholly and entirely in the 
cultivation of the altruistic motive; the motive The altruistic 
without which religion is a delusion; the motive ™"*^^*' 

* Conformity to law. 


The utilitarian 

Vox popoli, vox 

presented in the life and words of Christ; the 
motive of making one's own life and character of 
the greatest possible benefit to the eternity of 
mankind. Although this motive is fully recog- 
nized as the central j^i'inciple of all religions 
worthy the name, still a practical belief in it is in 
abeyance; indeed, jJ^jilosophy has been invoked to 
deny that the highest mission of man is universal 
salvation. Personal hap[)iness is defined as the 
goal of life by the utilitarians, and they pret^ent a 
strong argument in favor of their proposition. 

I take issue squarely with this, and call your at- 
tention to a few arguments that have fully con- 
vinced me that the development of the altruistic 
motive is the end and aim of education. Vox pop- 
uli, vox Dei is true of a civilized people after a 
long interval between deeds and final Judgments. 
Beyond the blinding glare of famous lives you will 
find one common standard of judgment — how 
much love, how much self-abnegation, how much 
self-sacrifice for the good of family, the state, the 
nation, and the world ? The memory of Alexander, 
Caesar, ]Siapoleon,^although they were indirectly of 
great use in progress, and all honor is given them, — 
is cold and dead in human hearts; while the ex- 
alted lives of Socrates, Pestalozzi, Froebel, Horace 
Maun, John Bright, Florence Nightingale, Wash- 
ington, and the greatest of all, Abraham Lincoln, 
will ever be bright and pure, the beacon-lights of 
mankind. If we could discover a scintilla of 
Limits of selfish- selfishness in Christ we should reject him. Great 
ness. force of character or genius, combined with self- 

ishness, inordinate ambition, and all-controlling 
avarice, leads, often to great political power, to 
wealth, to bloody victories, but beyond it cannot 

School Government and Moral Training. 351 

leud. There never was a bit of true art, music, 
soug, pail] ting, sculpture, or poetry, destined to 
immortality, that did not spring from inspiration 
born of love. 

"If the altruistic motive assumes entire con- Education and the 
trol," you exclaim, " what is to become of self and altruistic motive. 
self-interest ? " " What of knowledge, of physi- 
cal training, of personal success ? Does not self- 
abnegation mean the giving up of self ? " Find 
answer, perfect assurance, and the "peace that 
passeth all understanding" in the divine paradox: 
" He who would save his life must lose it." There 
is no incentive, no impulse, no spur equal to this 
sublime assertion. Persistence, endurance, mar- 
tyrdom, death, the salvation of man, all possibili- 
ties of life here and hereafter, are comprehended 
under it. 

All the truth in the v/orld ever transmuted to AU truth is 
knowledge by human minds is needed by man. ^^^'^^'^^•^™^' 
Search for truth gives man power; its application 
raises the possibilities of the seeking for truth to 
higher levels. The transcendent motive for the 
search for knowledge is the clear vision of man- 
kind needing and waiting its application. Knowl- 
edge is sweet in itself, "sweeter than honey and 
the honeycomb; " but the discovery of truth reaches 
its sublime height when the discoverer feels in 
his heart of hearts that this is for the dying Avorld, 
this is for " the millions yet to be," this is for 
time and eternity. 

Thus in developing motive we develop every- The development 
thing; motive is the centre, and everything comes °* ™''**"^^ " ^d™- 
to it. It is the application of the profound prin- 
ciple of the Great Teacher — " Seek ye first the 
kingdom of God and Ilis righteousness, and all 

352 Talks on Pedagogics. 

things shall be added unto you." Inspiration comes 
only with motive. Look down the ages, and for 
every great act of self-abnegation, for every great 
self-sacrifice, for every thought that lives and 
burns in the hearts of men, you will find the 
motive of love to mankind. It is preached from 
every pulpit; emphasized in prayer -meeting; 
taught in Sunday-schools; practised — where? 

That which is the consensus of human judg- 
ment, that which is the essence of all divine reve- 
lation, should be the centre of the education of 
children. Children enter the kindergarten or 
school with their souls too often clouded by 
"home-made" selfishness; but long experience 
proves that the moment they mingle with a com-' 
munity, the deep interest in others, which is spon- 
taneous in all children, may be easily directed by 
skilful teachers into a desire to help others. 

Altruistic motive Nothing appeals more strongly to a child than 
appeals to the ^j^^ -^^^^ ^1^^^ 1^^ ^^^^ l^g ^f ^^gg ^^ j^-g ^^^^^.^g^ r^j^jg 

germ is easily developed into a strong controlling 

motive, a habit of living. At what point in school 
life will selfishness enter ? I answer without 
qualification. Just where it is cultivated ! 

The poAver to choose the truth and apply it is 
" The tmth shall the highest gift of God to man. " The truth shall 
make you free." niake you free " means that, given the right con- 
ditions, the human soul will find that tentative 
truth which is best for itself. The controlling 
authorities of past and even present civilizations 
have everlastingly denied the right of man to ex- 
ercise his reasoning faculties in all directions; in 
this denial is the inner secret of human misery. 
Every step onward in civilization is dependent 
upon finding and applying the truth. Every step 

School Government and Moral Training. 353 

in personal development is through original in- 
ference and its practical application. No human 
being can find the truth for another; the highest 
aim should be to discover conditions that will en- 
able others to reason in the right direction. The 
command is, "work out your oion salvation." 
Reason is the supreme faculty of the being; its 
proper exercise is the direct purpose of all teach- 
ing. Teaching consists in the presentation of the Teaching:, 
best conditions for the exercise of judgment. 

Ideally, the child should choose only the right. Choice, 

and therefore should have only the conditions of 
right choosing presented. Nothing but the right 
should ever be presented to the child. The old 
teaching of evil, so that by knowing evil the child 
may avoid it, is fundamentally and everlastingly 
wrong — pernicious to the last degree. Evil is 
negative, good is positive. The good is true, and 
the good is beautiful; and nothing but the true, 
the beautiful, and the good should ever be pre- 
sented to the child. The principle so often enun- 
ciated, that a child should never see a wrong form, 
should never make a wrong form, is to be applied 
in all directions. A child should never have any- 
thing presented to him that is not in itself beauti- 
ful. He should learn to lift his eyes to the true 
and the good, as the flowers do to the sunlight. 
But how will the child know the evil if good is Present nothing 
always presented ? is the pertinent question of '"^* ^^^' 
some inquiring teacher. He will know all of evil 
that is necessary for him to know by the shade 
that it casts over the good; he will be educated 
above its temptations by the positive root of good 
in himself; when evil offends the taste and does 
not arouse inclination or desire, it has lost its 

354 Talks on Pedagogics. 

most potent influence. If the love, and therefore 
the desire, for the true, the good, and the beauti- 
ful is "throughly informed" in the child, the 
abnormal has lost its power; it is felt at once to 
be a counterfeit, and who will ever knowingly 
choose a makeshift when the real thing can be had 
without money and without price ? 
Detection of It is said that in China, where there are count- 

coanterfeit coins, j^^^ ^^^^^ ^f different kinds, counterfeiting is 
prevalent, and experts are carefully trained to 
detect bad coins. This is accomplished by re- 
quiring them to handle for three or more years 
good coins, and when thus trained they detect 
counterfeits instantly. This illustrates a funda- 
mental principle : spend no time in presenting the 
wrong; always present the right and the true. 
Furthermore, present it for the choice of the 
child. Evil will always come of itself; evil is 
accidental, ever present, a negation for every 
right deed. When evil comes and the child has 
no light by which to detect it, then present the 
positive and let the child choose. Good is always 
predominant, good is always beautiful, and the 
nature of the child, where the training has been 
in any degree normal, inevitably gravitates toward 
good, when given the opportunity. 
Training of the The training of choice through reason is the 
^^^^' training of will, the great executive of the ego; 

indeed, it is impossible to analyze the ego without 
the will. The will is that which is behind every 
action, thought, or expression of the human being. 
The will controls attention, reflection, the acts of 
expression, and indeed the whole being. The will 
is the executive of the ego; there is no act of the ego, 
good or badj without simultaneous act of the will. 

School Government and Moral Training. 355 

Motive controls, reason chooses, will executes. 
Will is self-effort; teaching and training present 
the conditions for self -effort. Motive without exe- 
cution dies; therefore next to motive in education 
stands the training of the will by educative work. 
Habits of reason, continuity of action in one 
direction, patience, persistence, courage, self-con- 
trol, are formed by the exercise of the will, exercise 
in actual doing of that which is to ie ^o«e. The will trained 
Training of the will leads to prolonged, per- ''^ ^°"'^* 
severing, independent struggles to overcome ob- 
stacles, to find and apply the truth. 

The value of an act of the will consists entirely The value of an 
in its content, or, in other words, the direction of ^^^ °* ^^ ■^'^^• 
the action determines the power acquired. Teach- 
ing has for its central purpose the training of 
attention. Attention is that power of the being Attention. 

to hold itself in the best possible attitude for the 
action of external attributes. In observation, the 
object acts directly upon consciousness; its value 
consists in the value of the correspondence to the 
object acting. In hearing-language and reading, 
words act directly upon consciousness like other 
objects; but the value of these acts depends en- 
tirely upon the appropriate activities aroused. 
The will is exercised in observation, hearing- 
language, and reading. 

Through attention the subjects and objects of 
thought are presented. The subjects and objects 
are to be in themselves educative, and are to be 
adapted to the immediate capabilities of the 
mind, by method. The most effective discipline 
is acquired by the action of the being upon those 
conscious activities needed for the immediate 
stage or step of personal development. To step 


Talks on Pedagogics, 


Exercises in ex- 


outside of this rule, for means of discipline, is to 
grant that there is not sufficient intrinsic truth 
for the exercise and training of the will. Acts of 
attention should be essentially moral acts. Read- 
ing and the study of text should be limited to the 
sweetest, purest, most invigorating literature; ob- 
servation, to the investigation of nature's laws ; the 
teacher's language should be the guide to, and in- 
spiration for, educative work. 

Exercises in expression under each and all the 
modes, if properly conducted, train the will as in 
no other way. In the conceptive modes, the action 
must be steady, continuous, and prolonged; there 
is an ideal to be realized by action; the concept 
must be held in consciousness, the hand must be 
controlled by the will. 

Imagination is the heart of the being; the 
images that occupy the mind and control the 
desires make man's destiny. Out of imagination 
springs the ideal which guides and dominates. 
"The pure in heart shall see God." Purity of 
heart is a pure imagination. The content of 
imagination should be the reflections of truth. 
Nature is as pure as her laws; literature should 
be pure. Teaching has for its main function the 
cultivation of the creative power of the mind. 
Imagination is the norm of creation. Observation 
prepares for the exercise of the imagination, read- 
ing exercises it, study intensifies it. What a 
child's imagination will be is determined by the 
subjects and methods of his thought and its ex- 

In the education of the child the formulation 
of moral precepts should be the outcome of his 
own reflection and experience: they will and 

School Goveniment and Moral Training. 357 

should come very slowly througli induction the 
outcome of ethical action. Moral training consists 
in the presentation of effective conditions for virtu- 
ous deeds. The laws of action, or the principles 
of right doing, should grow out of the doing itself. 
The ideal of the school is that all action is positively 
moral. Keep the child unconscious of motive, of Keep the child nn- 
the goodness of his own movements, just as long •^°"^"°'is <^ ^^ 
as possible. " The kingdom of heaven cometh 
not with observation." Should there be a certain 
portion of time devoted to morals ? Should there 
be text-books in that direction ? All teaching 
should be intrinsically moral, and all good books 

are text-books of morals. Text-books of 

. morals. 

History, the account of the human spirit, striv- 
ing through long ages to find the truth; biography, 
the record of the lives of men and women who have 
lived and died for humanity; pure literature, the 
reflection of noble souls and the interpretation of 
nature; myth, the fire-mist of religion; civics, the 
science of community life; science, the search for 
the natural laws revealed through the universe by 
the All-loving; mathematics, the weighing and ' 

measuring His work: all are moral, — shall I say 
religious ? What is the need of formal lessons in 
morals below the university, where ethics as a 
science can be studied intelligently and compre- 
hensively ? 

The demand for teaching morals as an isolated ^eeUng: of right- 
subject springs from the absence of moral effects 
in all other teaching. If, however, moral precepts 
are not to be used as guides to action, what are 
true means of inducing moral and ethical effort? 
I answer, the feeling of righteousness, caused by 
educative acts. I have already illustrated this, 

358 Talks on Pedagogics. 

under education of motive. The child at home 
feels that it is right to do what he sees done by 
his parents: the girl wants to cook, to sew, to 
sweep, and to keep house ; the boy, to buy and to 
sell, to make useful articles, to drive the horse, to 
mow, to plough : in fact, all attempts at imitation 
sioyd. are made under this feeling. In sloyd, the pupil 

feels that it is right to make some article of house 
furniture, some apparatus which he is to use in 
experiments. This motive unifies mental and 
physical action; he puts his whole mind upon the 
work, brings to bear all his skill, because the ar- 
ticle when properly finished is to be of use. In 
the same work, form and number are acquired; 
they are necessities in making. All this is essen- 
tially moral, because of the strong feeling of right 
which a child experiences when using all his 
powers to discover a truth adapted to his present 
condition. The delight felt in original inference, 
and in the collecting of data necessary to the exer- 
cise of judgment, is a sweet and wholesome emotion, 
which, constantly induced, will bring lasting good 
to the child. 
DeUght in ex- In the free expression of thought on the part 

pression. ^f children there is continual pleasure. They will 

speak, write, model, paint, draw, and sing with 
great confidence and delight. This sense of right 
doing is the true interest by which mental energy 
may be used for its best outcome. The child lives 
in the present; immediately anticipated pleasure 
may enchant him ; but his experience is so limited 
that he can have little judgment in regard to the 
future value of his studies. 

The feeling of right and of interest is the fruit- 
ful germ of anticipated pleasure; the day will 

School Government and Moral Training. 359 

come to him when faith in the future will compel 

him to long continuous struggles in study and work. 

It is too often urged that a child should be given 

hard dry tasks, or discipline studies, in order to 

prepare him for close and prolonged application. 

Nothing can be farther from the truth: if in 

youth the child has felt the warm glow of interest interest gives zest 

in all his school-work, the spark engendered will *° ^^' 

brighten into an enduring flame, will become the 

inspiration of long years spent in unremitting 


It is impossible to discuss one faculty of the Meatal faculties, 
mind without including all. We can say with 
truth that the proper development of motive, will, 
or reason is education; one cannot be trained 
without the others; each is involved in all. That 
faculty of the mind which has the dominant influ- 
ence in deciding motive and directing the will is 
emotion. Joy, happiness, interest, are different Emotions, 

names for the same thing in kind ; they are syno- 
nyms for pleasurable, agreeable, healthful emotions. 
I need not pause to discuss the inestimable blessing 
happiness is to man; life devoid of pleasure is 
worthless. My purpose is to discuss the funda- 
mental principle of true happiness and the method 
by which it may be cultivated. Permanent happi- 
ness is the result of continuous, persistent self- 
efforts in the normal, all-sided development of the 
body, mind, and soul. The most effective self- 
efforts are only possible under the highest motives; 
therefore happiness is the product of doing the 
greatest amount of good for humanity. 

The two statements are one in content and 
meaning: education presents the means for the 
full exercise of the laws of personal development, 

360 Talks on Pedagogics. 

of which self-activity is the central factor. The 
Emotions of pleas- emotions of pleasure excited by the most economi- 
'"■e. cal and therefore the most effective self-effort in 

the line of self -needs are right — the healthiest, 
strongest, and most enduring. Emotion is the 
immediate result of thought; the higher or the 
more educative the thought, the more intense will 
be the emotion. The supreme mental act is that 
of original inference, or the mind in action, search- 
ing for law. Original inference is conditioned upon 
data or knowledge of facts; insufficiency of data 
makes correct inferences or judgments impossible. 
The central factor of class teaching consists in 
Watcii the child's watching with great closeness the mind of each 
°^'^' pupil. Teaching, you will remember, is presenting 

conditions for educative mental action. In order 
to judge of the conditions to be immediately pre- 
sented, just the state of the pupil's mind must be 
known. The standpoint of the teacher's judg- 
ment of mental action dominates that action. 
There is but one true standpoint, and that is of 
Original influence the power of original inference. Original infer- 
tile test of mental q^^q jg ^j^g highest test of that knowledge which 
is power. If the knowledge is wrong or insuffi- 
cient, the inference will be wrong. By a skilful 
question or suggestion the pupil is made to see 
mistakes, and by the same token is driven to re- 
vise his data or seek for new facts. A demand 
for inference is a demand for knowledge, and at 
the same time points to the facts to be acquired; 
facts are the eyes through which we see laws. 

Science is acquired by a series of inferences, a 
process of reasoning, classification, and generaliza- 
[ Relation of origi- ^{qt^ ^ j^g^ inference, then, is based upon all pre- 
j nal inference to \^ . 

knowledge. vious facts and inferences. Science is an organi- 

School Government and Moral Training. 361 

cally related body of generalizations derived from 
facts ; inferences broaden and deepen at every step, 
and clearer and more comprehensive generaliza- 
tions spring from the knowledge of relations of 
sciences to each other. The effort in original in- 
ference demands related knowledge, or science. 

Self-effort in making original inferences is the 
highest quality of mental action. If the teacher 
co7icentrates all Ms efforts upon quality of action, 
the quantity of knowledge tvill tahe care of itself . 
Quality of mental action cannot exist without Quality of mental 
quantity of knowledge, but quantity may be ac- ^*^**°°- 
quired without the slightest efforts at quality. -' 

Quality of mental action is intensity of action; to intensity of 
the conscious centre of quality gravitate all the ^^^^^' 
facts and judgments that have ever existed in the 
mind. This is a fundamental law of psychology. 

Original inference exercises the supreme power 
of the mind — the power to acquire that knowl- 
edge which is in itself power. Under this 
quality action, knowledge becomes a dominant 
necessity, and is acquired with the greatest possible 
ease. The exercise of the pupil's minds in pro- original inference 
cesses of reasoning, enables the teacher to sharply the measure of 
discriminate individual power, and to weigh per- '°"^^'^* 
sonal attainment. When pupils fail to reason 
correctly after the best help and repeated efforts, 
the teacher will understand that they are be- 
yond depth; he must go back to a safe starting- 

But the most prominent feature of this genuine 
teaching is the pure delight pupils will take in the Delight in the 
search for truth. That which is best for the ^n- '^^*=^ ^""^ *^*^' 
spoiled child gives it the greatest pleasure. The 
emotion that springs from tlie search for truth is 

362 Talks on Pedagogics. 

next to the purest joy in the world — the applica- 
tion of truth for the good of others. 

Self-conceit is not possible to one who has a 
heart open to the truth; the joy of profound hu- 
mility brought by a glimpse of infinite truth, fills 
the soul, and leaves no room for egotism. 

The possibilities for mental, moral, and ethical 

Opportunities for action in school are unlimited; opportunities for 

moral and etbicai yirtuous deeds are countless. The faculties of the 

mind are capable of infinite development; true, 

they await the teachers, as did the mighty stored- 
up energies of steam, heat, electricity, and sound, 
their discoverers. When the teachers come, all 
the marvels of the nineteenth century will sink 
into insignificance before the full manhood and 
womanhood of realized possibilities. 

If the application of methods that conform to 
the laws of the being constitutes moral education 
and leads to ethical action, what shall be said of 
methods not growing out of and derived from the 
Are wrong prin- laws of the being? Are they immoral? This 
i^or??'"^*^"**^^'^^^ ^^ ^^^ *^° sweeping, too frightful, an accu- 
sation. I will draw up the indictment for your 
decision : 

(1) Methods not adapted to the laws of the 
Incorrect methods, being obstruct self-efiort, waste tlie pupil's time, 

and deprive him of the free use of all bis powers. 

(2) The learning of dead forms, or symbols 
without thought, not only wastes the time of chil- 
dren, but cultivates self-conceit, self -consciousness, 
obstructs the action of imagination, and inhibits 

(3) That study of history which demands a 
belief in the views and prejudices of a narrow- 
minded author or teacher induces bigotry and 

School Government and Moral Training. 363 

hate. History, taught from the standpoint of a 
creed, a party, or a nation, is often replete witli 
prejudice and false statements. The one-sided 
teaching of history narrows the sympathies and 
shuts the soul from the broadest love of hu- 

(4) The text-book study of science, which con- 
sists in the verbatim learning of facts that should 
be gained by observation, and the memorizing of 
inferences that should be original, hems in a child's 
spontaneous activities, and robs him of his love for 

(5) Drawing from fiat copies, and all mere imita- 
tions of copies, weakens the power of observation, 
and reduces the educative influence of art studies. 

(6) Corporal punishment degrades the soul, and 
makes children cowards. 

(7) Eewards, marks, prizes, per-cents, cultivate 
selfishness and destroy unity of action, making the 
altruistic motive well-nigh impossible. 

(8) When a teacher controls by sheer will-power, 
reinforced by corporal punishment and rewards, 
his pupils have no opportunity to exercise their 
own wills. 

The latter proposition will possibly be misunder- J^onii^iatingtlie 
stood, and therefore needs some explanation : the 
will of the teacher may predominate, that is, the 
child's will may be nothing but the teacher's will. 
There are teachers of such strong will-power that 
they overcome the wills of the children, and so- 
called order is the product — the order of arbitrary 
authority, which is in itself frightful disorder. 
The pupils are still ; they study in perfect obedi- 
ence and under the perfect control of the teacher. 
If the bare will of the teacher is not strong 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

The teacher's 
wiU, the chUd's 

Home tyranny. 

Unnatural disci- 
pline in schools. 

enough to accomplish this sad result, then arbi- 
trary means must be used — punishment, reward, 
or both means of controlling or suppressing any 
exercise of the child's will, or the formation of 
habits of self-choice. This order, under the con- 
trol of the teacher's will, to inexpert eyes seems 
the proper thing. The room is quiet, the children 
are busy. Busy with what ? Not with educative 
work, not busy because of interest in the work, 
filled with the joy of overcoming; but busy be- 
cause they must be out of fear of punishment or 
hope of reward. 

If the teacher's will is the child's will, and if 
the child has no feeling of the right of choice, if 
the habit of choosing is not formed and confirmed 
in the child, then he becomes will-less, a being to 
be controlled by others, drifting weakly and help- 
lessly, at the mercy of every strong current that 
seizes upon him. 

There are plenty of examples of home tyranny. 
Parents, though loving their children as only par- 
ents can love, often demand unquestioned obedi- 
ence, and bend the wills of their little ones to a 
rigid subservience, unenlightened by reason. The 
broken spirits sullenly obey and silently rebel; the 
opportunities of liberty are awaited to indulge a 
helpless will in license, and very often vice. 

I have seen schools in which disciplme had 
reached the ultimate. The machinery for the 
entire subjugation of the will seemed perfect. 
The pupils stared at the white walls opposite as 
if their lives depended upon perfect rigidity of 
muscle. They stood up, recited, sat down, as if 
moved by springs controlled by electric wires. 
The teachers exhibited their schools as if wonders 

School Government and Moral Training. 365 

had been accomplished. The poor victims of mis- 
taken education were deprived of all right to ex- Destroying the 
ercise the slightest liberty of action, not to speak '"^^^ 
of reason. When we see a vast multitude of un- 
thinking citizens (?) blindly obeying the orders of 
a modern tyrant, the political boss, the cause of 
such awful degradation is not far to seek. Chil- 
dren so trained become the means by which greedy 
politicians degrade democracy and act for its en- 
tire overthrow. The primary gift of God to man 
is choice ; and education should be the presentation 
of conditions for choice, for the exercise of reason. 
We may take it whichever way we will, if we say 
the outcome of education is to be a true citizen, 
then the citizen's highest influence is right choice 
for the whole people. 

Here is the difficulty: the shortest road to so- xhe short road to 
called order, which is vei'y generally understood to order. 
mean stillness and the delusive appearance of edu- 
cative work, is the result of the immediate loill of 
the teacher : the children are wrenclied into line ; Arbitrary force a 
they are forced into habits of quietness. On the means of disci- 
contrary, if the child's will is to be educated, if ^ "^^* 
the order and the industry of the schoolroom is 
to be the outgrowth of his own self-control and 
self-interest, there will be, it goes without saying, 
in the initial steps some apparent disorder; chil- 
dren must have a chance to choose, and given such 
chance, will exercise the judgment to be expected 
of such immature minds. If a child commits a 
crime against the school, an immediate punish- 
ment may settle the case and bring quietness, if this 
is the end to be worked for; but it does not educate 
the child; he has no choice, he is not led to rule 
himself, he is compelled to comply through fear. 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

I grant at once that there is a time in life when 
the mother's will should be the child's will; that 
there is a time in school-work when the teacher's 
will should be the pupil's will ; but any exercise of 
authority on the part of parent or teacher which 
Reason and wiu. does not contain the reason for the order, or any 
exercise of the will which does not bring the exer- 
cise of the child's will to coincide with the parent's 
or teacher's (and in every instance the child should 
be made to feel the justice of the demand), is 
fundamentally wrong; is the perpetuation of that 
mode of government by which tyranny has kept 
the spirit of man for ages from seeking and find- 
ing the truth ; is carrying oppressive and suppres- 
sive methods, so effective in the past, into the 
embryonic democracy, the central hope of free- 
dom, the common school. 

In the past, corporal punishment was the prin- 
cipal means of enforcing the will of the teacher. 
Corporal punishment has for its basis the working 
hypothesis that children are bad by birth, by nat- 
ure, and by tendency, and that this badness must 
be suppressed; that children do not like education 
or educative work ; that it is necessary to disci- 
pline the mind through fear. Corporal punish- 
ment has for its basis the idea that children will 
not do right unless they are forced to do it, and 
because of this the horrible anticipation of con- 
tinual punishment is placed before them. The 
child gets his lesson, draws his map, recites, and 
does his work under the controlling emotion that 
if he does not do it he will be punished. Few of 
us who live to-day have any appreciation of how 
far this principle was carried only a few years 
back. Some older person can tell the story of 

Corporal punish- 

School Government and Moral Training. 367 

corporal punishment. Oliver Optic (William T. oid-fasUoned 
Adams), well known to children, once said to me : ^°^JJ_^^^ P'^*'''- 
" If I left out even the smallest word in my page 
recitation, an 'and^ or a 'the,^ I heard the stern 
call of the master, 'Adams, come to the desk!* 
and I knew what that meant." " Fear is the be- 
ginning of wisdom, but perfect love casteth out 

The change from punishment to another great Metiod of re- 
auxiliary to the will of the teacher is reward — ^izes^/^d promo- 
presents, prizes, promotions; from an appeal totions. 
cowardice, to love of approbation or avarice. The 
change from fear was the hope of some extraneous 
reward, some special mark of approbation on the 
part of the teacher, something that could be her- 
alded as a triumph on the part of the pupil. Bad 
as corporal punishment has been and is, the sub- 
stitute of a system of rewards is infinitely worse. 
Fear of punishment is bad enough, indeed, but 
the systematic development of selfishness is dam- 
nable. The infliction of corporal punishment is 
degrading to the mind, but the hope of extraneous 
reward for study destroys the highest motive and 
sedulously develops its opposite, selfishness. I 
vv^ould place punishment and reward-giving as in 
the highest degree criminal; as criminal as lying, 
stealing, or swearing. I know it is not generally 
understood in this way; but I ask of you, my fel- 
low teachers, to look at it with the greatest care. 
Why is it that the sordid nature of man is so 
highly developed in our country ? Why is it that 
man looks upon his fellow man as a means to his 
own selfish endc? Why is it that we doubt almost 
every man who sceka for office— doubt whether he 
loves his country more than he does himself ? To' 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Cultivation of 

Educated to sell. 


day, one of the most prominent products of our 
schools is the systematic cultivation of selfishness 
— want of an interest in public welfare, public in- 
terests, the best needs of the commonwealth. Do 
you question this ? Study the situation with that 
courage which dares to doubt ! 

" Would you not cultivate ambition ? " some 
one says. "Are not Webster, Clay, and Calhoun 
the products of ambition?" Continue the list 
and include many modern statesmen ! Is it not 
true that if we as citizens could go to the polls 
and vote for public servants, with a complete or 
reasonable conviction that our candidates love 
their country more than they do themselves, we 
should be profoundly happy ? 

Were not the few really great men the products 
of the " old education " ? They were certainly 
saved from that education, hut who can count the 
lost? Bought at home, bought at school, with 
merits, per-cents, and prizes, bought in college and 
university by the offer of high places, the young 
man with o, finished education stands in the world's 
market-place and cries: "I'm for sale; what will 
you give for me ? " 

What is prize-giving and what the result ? Each 
child is born Avith personal power. He owes physi- 
cal, mental, and moral power, and its foundation, 
not to himself, but to his ancestors, taking strains 
of strength or weakness from away back in the re- 
mote past. One child comes into the world with 
the inborn power to do incomparably better work 
than another child. A prize is offered; it is gen- 
erally known from the beginning that the getting 
of that prize will be confined to one among two 
or three children. Prize-giving is the rewarding 

School Government and Moral Training. 369 

of au ancestor; rewarding a child for tlie virtues Prize-giving the 
and mental power of liis great-great grandfather. ^^^^^ °^ "^ 
A child dimly feels this, and if constantly led to 
accept honors which come so easily, his sense of 
justice is warped and lilunted; you have devel- 
oped an aristocrat keenly alive to his own rights, 
not a citizen regardful of the rights of all. But 
that is not the worst of it ! The child with in- prize-giving the 
born weakness looks in despair upon the mark of despair of weak 
aj)probation to his mate, and in his despair he 
sinks, his confidence is gone, his manhood is de- 
graded, and the loss to one soul is a loss to every 
soul in the community. The only safe thing to 
reward is self-effort — self-effort measured by the 
capabilities of the individual. True teaching dis- 
criminates individual power. Each chiM is differ- 
ent in character from all other children ; the weak- 
ness and strength of each child are understood 
and appreciated, and then the self-effort is meas- 
ured by the child's personal capabilities. True, 
children come into competition with each other, 
but that competition should be generous, should 
be the recognition of each other's powers, each 
other's weaknesses, and a desire to help or to be 
helped, a mutual giving and taking. 

The same general criticism may be made upon 
presents and rewards, promotions and rankings. 
It is a very easy way to arouse abnormal activity Abnormal activ- 
on the part of children, — this hope of reward; butity* 
it quickens and stimulates undesirable results. 
A child is dominated by one desire, controlled by 
one motive, — " I wish to succeed; I am glad when 
I excel my classmates, when I arrive at the head." 
The boy rushes home, filled with the joy of a con- 
queror, He flies into his mother's arms and cries, 

37© Talks on Pedagogics. 

"lam at the head of the class! All the others 
are below me; I have beaten them!" No prayer- 
meeting, no Christianity, no religion on earth, can 
eradicate this monstrous tendency of selfishness, 
which parents and teachers are ignorantly and 
prayerfully fostering. The cultivation of the re- 
ward system in our schools is the cultivation of 
inordinate ambition, the sinking of every other 
motive into the one of personal success. The rea- 
son why education to-day is looked upon with 
such narrow views, the reason why the learning of 
dead forms is forced upon the community, is that 
selfish man, living for self and in self, effectively 
excludes inspiration, does not study or care to 
help the wretchedness and woe of mankind. Men 
so trained are filled only with an ambition that 
controls them, narrows them, deprives them of all 
aspiration and reflection; they live and die for 
themselves. This is a severe arraignment against 
reward-giving, so common in our schools; but it is 
true, and the pity of it is that it is all so useless. 
Corporal ptinisii- Corporal punishment is the enduring power of 
°'^°*- the old and long-tried method of making man 

utterly subservient to human authority; it is the 
living relic of dungeons, torture, police, standing 
armies, used to force human beings into unreason- 
ing obedience and fixed beliefs ; to suppress the 
divine aspirations of the human soul in its strug- 
gles for the liberty to become free. 
Reward-giving is Keward-giving had its or-igin in bribing, the buy- 
bribery, ixig of a bit of liberty enjoyed in the early repub- 
lics; its effectual purpose was the re-establishment 
of despotism. 
God gives re- Does not God grant rewards for virtuous deeds ? 
wards. Yes ; He alone knows all the circumstances, the 

School Government and Moral Training. 371 

conditions, of individual life. His discrimination 
of self -effort is perfect : tlie thief upon the cross 
received a sweeter reward than the selfish rich 
man. His reward is love, and the more j^ou give 
of that . the better. School rewards propose to do 
the impossible — to measure desire, emotion, and 
motive, to weigh character. There is no scale in- 
vented, no measure, however exact, that can give 
in numbers the value of effort. With effort you 
must weigh heredity, home surroundings, health, 
and vitality. All that rewards, per-cents, and 
prizes can measure is quantity — pages, chapters, 
and books — learned and recited. 

The only reason for the existence of corporal Canse of corporal 
punishment and rewards is unnatural, miediicative^^^^^^^^^^ 
drudgery. They are the effective means of quan- 
tity-learning along the shortest line of resistance ; 
order and quiet can be easily maintained by fear or 
reward, and an all-controlling ambition cultivated 
by the same auxiliaries. I have no hesitation in 
saying that the development of fear by punish- 
ment and selfishness by reward is radically im- 
moral. There is absolutely no necessity for either. 
Eeal, genuine educative work, real search for 
truth and its ethical application, needs no other 
stimulus. Drudgery must be driven by fear or 
the unnatural incentive of rewards; but work, all- 
around educative work, work for the brain and 
hand, for the mind and body, work that best 
develops the whole being, work that is most needed 
by all the members of a school, brings its own 
sweet, joyous reward. 

I shall not wonder if you more than doubt every 
word I say in regard to this subject; but I ask you 
to point out a school to me in which the needs of 

372 Talks on Pedagogics. 

the whole being are met by jierfect conditions. I 
can point out to you schools by the thousands in 
which hungry souls are never fed; in which the 
" Three R's." body shrivels and dwarfs; in which the "three 
E's " are the idols, worshijDped until the soul is pros- 
trated and the faculties benumbed. It is no fancy, 
no dream of the imagination, that children's soul.s 
are starved to death, while the universe is full of 
Total depravity, the bread of life. The doctrine of total depravity 
is man's excuse for his ignorance of the divine 
nature of the child. The fundamental reason wliy 
cliildren do not act right is because they do not 
have the co7iditions for right action. 

The talk of the Holy Spirit and all the comfort 
it has given us by the sense of the presence of God 
in our souls is well; but when it comes to some real- 
ization of His truth in nature, His truth in history, 
the expression of that truth, and its power to make 
for righteousness, we have absolutely no faith ; we 
Reward-giving in are infidels. Even in Sunday-school rewards are 
Sunday-school, ofpei^gd, dinners are given, and children swell the 
numbers only to be more strongly educated and 
fortified in greed and selfishness. Educative work 
brings its own reward. No one can search for the 
truth without being touched as with a live coal from 
an altar. The search for truth brings its own re- 
ward. The cry of " Eureka" has rung down the ages 
from the lips of the searchers for truth and from the 
hearts of reformers. It is possible that each and 
every child may quicken with this inspiration, tbe 
Holy Spirit of the highest life. Truth is not to be 
relegated to only the exceptional few; every child 
on this earth can have the conditions of finding the 
"The kingdom of truth and feeling the trutli for himself. " Tlie 
youT"^^"^^ kingdom of heaven is within you." To doubt 

School Government and Moral Training. 373 

this is to lack faith in the infinite possibilities of 
human growth, and the infinite means at hand to 
nourish them. This lack of faith in humanity is 
the greatest infidelity. 

It is not a vision that I have presented ; it is not 
a barren theory. Are there not bounteous means 
by which human action can be made joyous, ex- 
hilarating, both immediate and in anticipation ? 
The answer is yes, and again, yes ! The purpose 
of word -learning is a well-defined purpose to limit 
the human being to human authority. The pur- 
pose of seeking the truth is to find God, the Author 
of truth, and to be controlled entirely by Him. I 
have already said that all truth is God's truth. 
We sometimes make a difference between scientific Scientific trntli 
truth and sacred truth, but there is no difference. ^^^^^^^^^'^ * 
God manifests Himself through the universe to 
human souls. He differentiates His all-efficient 
energy so that His manifestation may touch every 
mind from the weakest to the highest, that " he 
who runs may read." 

I have argued in previous talks that there is but 
one study, and that the study of law. All law is 
truth itself; therefore all search for law must be 
intrinsically moral in itself. An honest, unpreju- seeking for the 
diced struggle of the soul to find the truth is a ^"5^. ^^ '^"'^^ 
moral action — is only second to the highest moral 
action, which is the application of truth; therefore 
I can say with perfect confidence, that all real 
study is in the highest degree moral, and all appli- 
cation of the truth found, by the manifestation 
of thought through the different modes, is in the 
highest degree ethical when controlled by the 
motive for the good of others. There is nothing 
in intellectual work or physical exercise that is not 


Talks on Pednoooics. 

special moral 
training in the 

in itself intrinsically moral, a moral action at every 

I know that there has been much discussion 
upon this particular point, and fear has been 
expressed that there is little or no moral training 
in our public schools, and a general verdict has 
been formed that there must be more specific 
moral training, that text-books with moral pre- 
cepts and moral directions must be introduced 
and studied. The solution of this problem is sim- 
ple and plain : every bit of teaching should be in- 
trinsically moral, and that teaching which has not 
a moral element in it, that teaching which is not 
prompted by the highest virtue, is not right teach- 
ing, and should be so branded. Special moral 
training in schools is a suggested remedy for that 
which need not exist. 

The most fruitful cause of all the evils of school 
Lack of educative life is the lack of educative ioorJc. Most corporal 
^°^ ■ punishment has its root in the righteous rebellion 

of children against mind-stupefying and disgust- 
ing drudgery. The brightest and best children 
refuse to toil when they see no reason for it and 
feel no pleasure in it; rebellion, alas ! is their only 
resource. Prizes, rewards, per-cents, and all the 
means of stimulating selfishness, and tJiat ambition 
which ends with self, spring from a profound 
unbelief that educative work, that right doing, 
brings its own sweet and sure reward. 

Children are lost from total neglect. They cry 
for bread, and we give them a stone. Their whole 
nature seeks for the truth, and we give them the 
lie, in dead forms. The greatest proof of the divin- 
ity of the child is that he can meet the ignorant 
methods of parents and teachers, overcome them. 

Children lost from 
total neglect. 

School Government and Moral Training. 375 

and still persist in goodness. The day is come 
when the fear of disobedience of a few negatives 
is not to be the method of the school, when the 
grand positive precepts of the greatest sermon in 
the world, the Sermon on the Mount, are to be 
applied in depth and breadth throughont school 
life; the centre of that sermon — " Blessed are those 
who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they 
shall be filled." The Saviour said these words 
because He knew in human souls there is a 
depth of love and a breadth of desire which, if the 
right conditions were presented, would be devel- 
oped into the highest moral and spiritual power. 


Talks on Pedagogics. 



Summary of the 
cMld's spontane- 
OQS activities. 


It has been my purpose in the preceding- four- 
teen talks to present an outline of a theory of 
concentration as a working hypothesis for investi- 
gation and study. I now propose -to sum up the 
principal points in this theory, and to discuss some 
of the many difficulties in the way of its applica- 

;, First: The l^eing to be developed determines 
what subjects and what methods shall be used. 
(a) The environment of the child acts upon it and 
thereby determines' the iuitial steps of all the 
studies that can ever after be pursued, (b) The 
personality of the being determines also the action 
of external energies, and their reaction in expres- 
sion. The spontaneous activities of the child are 
the sure and safe guides to finding and applying 
the conditions of education, (c) The investigation 
of instinct, intuition, and spontaneity is the scien- 
tific means of ascertaining the methods by which 
the child is mentally, morally, and physically de- 
veloped. The laws of the being fix absolutely the 
conditions and methods of education. (d) The 
application of necessary conditions by perfect 
methods means the advancement of the being by 
the shortest line of resistance towards freedom, the 
goal of human progress. Imperfect methods ob- 

Summary of the Doctiine of Concentration. 377 

struct and deflect these lines of advance. The 
liighest economy in education, therefore, is found 
in the application of methods that strictly con- 
form to the laws of development. 
^ . Second : The siLhie_ct-matter found in the child's 
environment, to be used in its development, 
is classified under the head of central subjects. Central subjects. 
{(t) Geography, geology, and mineralogy — the 
sciences of inorganic matter, {b) Physics and 
chemistry — the laws of movement and change of 
inorganic matter, (c) Botany, zoology, anthropol- 
ogy, ethnology, and history — the sciences of organic 
matter and life, {d) Physiology — the physics and 
chemistry of living organisms. 

There is no classification in nature. The classi- No classification 
fication of the central subjects is, like all other 
classifications, an indispensable means of study, an 
economy of mental action. The central subjects 
are in themselves an organic, inseparable, inter- 
dependent unit. The relation of a subject in 
itself to any one or to all the other subjects is as 
intimate as the relation of the part of any one 
subject to the whole subject. A tree, for instance, 
is as closely related to meteorology, geography, 
physics, and chemistry as a leaf to the twig or a 
limb to the trunk. 

A_cliihl comes in contact with all these subjects 
in its environment, and begins instinctively its 
investigations in each and every one of the direc- 
tions indicated by the central subjects. The 
doctrine of concentration proposes that these sub- spontaneous ac- 
jects be continued as a child has begun them, _^_i5-^55 
until there arrives that period of mental develop- 
ment when a specialization of subjects can most 
economically grow out of the rich subsoil of the re- 

37^ Talks on Pedagogics. 

lated knowledge of all subjects. T he direr .t study 
of the central subjects, by observation, investiga- 
tiori^imagination, and original infereiTceJlurnishes 
an inexhaustible means of educative mental action. 
J. Third : All knowledge of externality dej)ends 
absolutely upon that action of the ego called judg- 
ment ; all acts of judgment or original inference 
depend as absolutely upon sense-products, element- 
ary ideas, individual concejits. Sense-products are 
manifestations or interpretations of external ener- 
gies differentiated and exjoressed through qualities 
of matter : matter, in turn, being known by judging 
of the differentiated energies which act through 
it. ^11 study consists in investigation of the 
changes brought about by energy acting through 
matter, organic and -inorganic. "The quality of 
energy creating or differentiating qualities of 
matter, in relation to time, space, and motion, 
demonstrates law; therefore all study is a study 
of law, of law under which energy acts and is 
Relative value of acted upon. Form is the supreme manifestation 
form study. ^-f energy. Its correspondence in mind is the 

foundation of all knowledge, is the product of the 
fundamental intellectual sense — that of touch. It 
is plain, then, that there can be no knowledge or 
interpretation of knowledge without a correspond- 
ing knowledge and interpretation of form. Form 
study is the indispensable basis of all knowledge 
of the central subjects. The mental process of 
direct form study is observation. The sense-prod- 
ucts, corresponding to external forms, are re- 
formed by the imagination. Thei science of form 
under the action of the imagination is geometry. 
Relation of geom- Geometry is the science of imaging forms that lie 
suWects"'^ beyond the sense grasp, that exist beyond the hori- 

Summary of the Doctrine of Concentration. 379 

zon of the senses, imagination being absolutely 
dependent upon the jiroducts of the senses. Form 
is the elementary science of geometry; they both 
have to do with the superficial limitations of 
objects and bodies of matter in space. It follows, 
therefore, that they both are integral factors of all 
study, indispensable to all knowledge. 

/T Fourth: Fnon is the superficial limitations of F«^°i defined. 
objects and bodies of matter in space. Size is the 
exact limitations of objects and bodies of matter 
in space. A knowledge, conseqiiently,^ of botli 
form and size is the basis of all. approximately Form and size, 
adequate concepts, corresponding to objects and 
bodies of matter. Through the judgment, the 
mind measures size by lines, areas, surfaces, and 
volumes. Number is the special mode of judg-Useof nnmber. 
ment by which an exact knowledge of size is ac- 
quired. Weight, that mode of motion we call 
gravity, is another essential property of matter. 
Density or compactness of particles or atoms is 
closely related to weight and size. Knowledge of 
weight and density is acquired by numbering. 
The numerical relations of objects and things to 
each other, it goes without saying, are products of 
the same mode of judging. 

The proposition of the doctrine of concentration Relation of num- 

is that the exercise of that mode of judgment *^^.*"f^*=''^t^*^ 

J ° subjects. 

called numbering is essential to the acquisition of 
all knowledge of externality; and also that this 
mode of judgment may be most economically 
acquired by measuring and weighing matter, and 
in all exercises intrinsic to the direct study of the 
central subjects. 

^, Fifth : Attention is the vital process of intellect- Attention, 
ual creation, induced by the action of external 

380 Talks on Pedagogics. 

attributes upon the brain and consciousness. The 
laws and rules which govern attention are, in 
themselves, the natural metliod. Teaching is the 
presentation of conditions for educative attention. 
The power of a^ttention is most economically devel- 
Observation, oped by the study of the central subjects. Obser- 
aad reading. vation, hearing-language, and reading are modes 
of attention. Observation has to do with the con ■ 
centration of external attributes upon conscious- 
ness, the results of which action are intrinsic. 
Hearing-language and reading are processes of 
thinking by the action upon consciousness of 
spoken and written words. They are educative 
processes when the subjects for such thinking are 
immediately needed for mental action, and when 
the acts of attention are intense. 
Value of observa- V«- Sixth: Observation, with its factors of experi- 
^°°' mentation and investigation, is made the elemen- 

tary, preliminary study of the central subjects. 
These subjects furnish countless opportunities for 
the effective action of that mode of attention. 
The products of observation furnish the psychic 
foundation for all efficient acts of the imagination. 
The end and aim of both observation and imagi- 
nation is original inference, the essential element 
of reason. 
Hearing-ian- n Seventh: The oi:al^n^-uage which a child has 
gixage. acquired on entering school is enhanced and 

developed by the enhancement and development 
of thought-power. The rule of concentration is 
that oral language should conform to the immedi- 
ate necessities of consciousness. 
Si" Eighth : Reading is thinking, brought about by 
the action upon consciousness of written or printed 
words, arranged in sentences. Reading is the 

Summary of the Doctrine of Concentration. 381 

same process in kind as study of text; the latter, 
however, is more intense, and in a higher degree 
educative. Under the theory here presented, the 
power to read and to study text is acquired while Relation of read- 
used directly in the study of the central subjects, "'s: to study. 
Words and idioms are to be associated with intrin- 
sic thought from beginning to end. In other 
words, there is to be no reading or study of text 
which does not directly and immediately enhance 
the subjects taught. All reading presented to 
pupils, from first to last, is to be the best of lit- 

In using the three modes of attention, — observa- Unity of action. 
tion, hearing-language, and reading, — instinctive 
unity of action is to be steadfastly maintained. 
<NNiuth: All the modes of expression — gesture, 
voice, music, speech, making, modeling, painting, 
drawing, and writing — are to be continually used 
throughout the course of eight years as efficient 
means to intensify intrinsic and educative con- 
scious activities. The theory is that each mode of Modes of atten- 
expression has its special and indispensable func- °^' 
tion in education, its special reactive influence. 
All forms of thought expression under each and 
every mode are to be directly acquired under the 
impulse of intrinsic or qualitative mental action. 
Unity of action is to be preserved throughout. 

The best possible physical development of the ^^^rcise of modes 
whole body as an instrument of thought and j^jeans of physical 
exj)ression is brought about by continuous natural development, 
exercise of the body in the expression of thought 
under each and all the modes. 

s«Tenth :_Mnsic cultivates those emotions which Music. 
determine motive and control the will. Ehythm, 
the basis of all melody and harmony, is a powerful 

382 Talks on Pedagogics. 

means for the adjustments of the body in graceful 
supple movements, thus rendering it a more and 
more perfect instrument of the soul. 

(Jesture. ^[^Eleventh: The pantonjimic use of the body as 

distinguished from its functional use develops 
higher muscular coordinations, which conserve 
energy and render the body a more skilful agent 
of the will. This all-sided action is conducive to 
health, beauty, and grace; it is, like voice and 
speech, an immediate resjjouse to thought; it is a 
universal medium of expression, and has a direct 
organic relation to writing and the conceptive 
modes of expression. Rhythm, which is the suc- 
cessive flow of the parts of the body in time to 
tune, links gesture, dance, and music. There is a 
natural correspondence between oral language and 
the sign -language, a form of gesture invented for 
the use of deaf-mutes; this relation becomes more 
apparent when we consider that a deaf person can 
learn to read the lips with almost as much ease as 
he can read the language of the hand. 

Conceptive modes -^ Twelfth : The conceptive modes of expression 

of expression. have a strong reactive influence upon all the 
modes of attention — observation, hearing-language, 
and reading. They are also the most efficient 
means of developing imagination, enhancing ges- 
ture, music, speech, and writing. 

Speech and writ- ':^) Thirteenth : By speech and writing all conscious 
activities may be most completely manifested. I 
have presented the argument to prove that all 
forms of speech and writing may be adequately 
acquired in the evolution and expression of 
thought ; that all the accidents, definitions, and 
rules of grammar may be thoroughly mastered in 


Summary of the Doctrine of Concentration. 383 

the development of tliouglit-power by speech and 

• ^\Fourteenth : All the forms of tliouglit-manifesta- Acanisition of 
tion under each and every mode of expression may ^^^ ° expres- 
be adequately and most economically acquired 
imder tlie immediate im])ulse of intrinsic ttiougtit, 
ivhich means, in turn, ttiat every act of expression 
stiall Jiave its full reflex action ujjon educative 
Mouglit. . 

^ Fifteenth : \The main proposition of the theory Moral training:. 
of concentration is comprehended in the statement 
that all true education is inherently moral and 
ethical. \ Education is the development of the atti- 
tude of the being towards tru_th. All acts of ex- 
pression consist in the manifestation of truth by 
each and every mode of expression. The funda- 
mental principle of education is the development 
of the altruistic motive, under which the highest 
and best mental action may be acquired. Educa- 
tion is the economizing of physical, mental, and 
moral energy in the direction of development. 
Economization of energy is the conformity of the 
being to divine law. Freedom is obedience. 

I have thus briefly summarized some of the main The cMld the cen- 
points in the theory of concentration. The centre ^^" 
of all movement in education is tlie ctiild. AVe 
must grant that human beings are absolutely 
governed by immutable, ever-acting, all-efficient 
laws of growth and development, and that all 
development means conformity to the laws of 
being; nonconformity is decay, degradation, and 
death. The process, ideall}^, of education consists 
in the presentation of conditions, and all the con- 
ditions, for the most complete action of the laws 
of the being. The central law of education is self- 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Original infer 

effort, that action of the ego, which, when normal, 
either consciously or unconsciously conforms to 
law. The constant adjustment and fulfilment of 
the laws of being ever condition the action of 
higher laws and form the ever-moving path of 
educative action. 

I have argued that the fundamental principle 
of j)ersonal development is self-effort. The supreme 
intellectual effort of the eyo is original inference. 
Original inference is an active attempt of the ego 
to find the truth ; essential truth is law. A 
resume of the argument already made may be here 
presented. The universe is the manifestation 
through matter of all-efficient eiiergy. Matter, 
both organic and inorganic, is differentiated by 
energ}^, and thus manifested to the human soul. 
These differentiations are adapted to personal 
power of apprehension. Differentiated matter is 
the visible, tangible manifestation of creative 
thought; just as words convey the thought of 
man to man, so differentiated matter conveys the 
Relation of energy thought of God to man. The universe, with all 
to matter. -[.g contents, is undergoing continual, everlasting 

change. These changes, we agree, are controlled 
by immutable laws. These laws are invisible; they 
are as invisible as consciousness. One central law 
controls both man and the universe. The laws of 
the universe reveal the ego to itself. All law con- 
centres in the law of being, is manifested for the 
being; all life is for one life. AVe are made in His 
Image, and we approach that Image through the 
effort to know the truth or the law, and to apply it. 
It seems plain that there is one absolute goal 
of self-effort ; that observation, investigation, and 
knowledge of books have one aim and one purr 


Summary of the Doctrine of Concentration. 385 

pose, namely, the knowledge of ever-changing 

nature, and the progressive movement of man. 

Study of change would be of no value were not 

the mutability of matter governed by immutable 

laws. Through all the avenues of changing matter, au study concen- 

through history, science, language, and art, the in- ^^^ ^^ the study 

tellect has one ideal action — search for law; one 

ideal purpose — its ethical application. Why do we 

study the leaf ? We wash to know its relation to 

the twig, the twig to the limb, the limb to the 

trunk, the trunk to the roots; the leaf, the limb, 

the trunk, the roots, to earth and air and water, 

and to the universe; everlasting convergence is the 

law of approach to central truth. 

The objection to this proposition may be that it 
is indefinite; that it is too far off; that we know so 
little really of law, that we cannot effectively make 
it the end and aim of all education, I answer that 
the human being in his weakness and power has 
one mission, and one alone, and that is to reach 
the truth that shall make him free. If we know 
little, comparatively, of law, we can have an all- 
controlling faith in law, in that law which is in its 
essence love.. If we cannot comprehend, we can Movement 
apprehend; we can move forward tentatively; ^e**'"^*^'^^*^^^^*^' 
can see through a glass darkly; we can turn our 
faces to the sunlight of truth, and hold ourselves 
under the influence of its power. 

When we think of it carefully, we are all in- instinctive obedi- 
stinctive believers in the law and doers of the ^^'^^ **• ^*'"'' 
law. Behind whatever we do in our daily lives 
and vocations is an intuitive knowledge of law; 
whether we walk, eat, sleep, or work, our belief is 
fixed and firm that in so far law governs us; that 
in so far there is nothing left to chance. I ask, as 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Arrangemen* of 
material for con- 



Influence of 

I have asked before, in regard to the spontaneous 
activities of the chikl, what is this instinctive be- 
lief in law but the spontaneous beginnings of our 
advance toward law ? If chance had any place in 
this universe there could be no science, no confi- 
dence in study, no faith that would impel upward 
and onward. The scientist in his laboratory, the 
geologist in the field, and the a^stronomer gazing 
through his telescope believe in law as they be- 
lieve in God; every effort is governed by a belief 
that law can be discovered. 

A still more difiicult and everlasting problem is 
the arrangement of material for adaptation to 
steps and stages of human growth. An ideal 
course of study is a thing of the future, to be 
approached by continual adaptations to changing 
circumstances. What material is best adapted ? 
Shall we find it in this subject, or in that ? For 
instance, is elementary science or history prefer- 
able ? What shall decide ? What lies nearest the 
child ? What does he love best ? What does him 
the most good ? We will all agree to the powerful 
influence of nature upon the child, of earth and 
air and water, of plant and animal life. Shall 
that which is already so Avell begun continue ? 
Human life has just as strong an influence, 
perhaps a stronger affective power than Nature; 
shall we choose human life, the foundation of his- 
tory, for the initial steps ? Nature acts upon the 
child's soul with irresistible power; earth, air, and 
water sing in his ears their songs of sweetness and 
beauty; plant life entrances him with color and 
change; animal life enters into his being; the child 
is as near the brute as he is to man. Shall the 
child study nature ? 

Summary of the Doctrine of Concentration. 387 

There can be but one answer to these questions: continue that 
continue tliat wMcli is iegun, and continue it by "^^*=^ ^^ ''^s^'*^* 
such measures and such means as are directly and 
essentially adapted to the harmonious growth of 
body, mind, and soul. The means have chosen 
themselves; God has chosen them in His creation 
of the human spirit. It is for us to study these 
beginnings, these germinations of human growth; 
we are not to affirm that soil alone is good for the 
plant, or water alone, or air alone, but that all con- 
centre upon the growth of the plant. The child 
stands in the centre of a circle ; around him is the 
environment of the universe, man and nature. 
Everything in its elements touches the child's xte child in the 
soul; the child's soul goes out towards every thing, centre of the cir- 
reacts upon everything. We must not break or *^ ^' 
distort the circle if we would have it extend and 
grow upward in the spiral. The base circle must 
ever widen, and with it each spiral as it tends 
upward in its way toward the light and the truth. 
We, as teachers, must avoid placing undue em- 
phasis upon that which we know best, and that 
which we love the best; we must remember we are 
not educated as we should educate the child. We 
may love history, and see in myth an all-powerful 
influence for mental and spiritual growth but fail 
to see, because we do not know, the potent influ- 
ence of nature. We must remember that the 
making of a course of study completely adapted 
to the needs of human growth would require 
infinite knowledge; it can only conform to the 
finite in its approach to infinity. The beautiful infinity of means, 
thing, the sublime thing, about education is, that 
we can never find the end; that we can never fully 


Talks on Pedaoopics. 

The " suspended 

cannot be under- 
stood by artisan 

courses of study. 

know the means; that we can never comprehend 
the centre, the human spirit. 

Some one has said truthfully that "suspended 
judgment " is the greatest discovery of the nine- 
teenth centnry. We walk by faith and not by 
sight; faith in God and faith in His highest crea- 
tion. Our work is to continue creation, is to fur- 
nish the conditions for creation; and when we 
apprehend this, and include in its apprehension 
the fact that whatever we do to exalt the human 
soul is eternal in humanity, eternal in its influence 
upon humanity, we begin to get a slight glimpse 
of the sacred calling of teaching. The dignity of 
life is the feeling of eternity behind and before; 
that the soul is one with eternity. 

All that can be done is to point the way towards 
that which is better and higher for humanity. 
The rule is, the more exalted the art, the more 
difficult it is to understand its principles and to 
apply them. The great advantage of the doc- 
trine of concentration is, that its application abso- 
lutely requires the art of teaching. Let us look 
practically at the propositions presented. "^I have 
urged that all subjects taught in any university 
shall be begun in an elementary way, with the 
little child of six years of age, and that exercises 
in all the modes of expression shall be continued 
or initiated.^ 

We have had a great deal of discussion in regard 
to overcrowding courses of study; that there is not 
now time enough to thorougMy acquire the " 3 R's," 
a smattering of geography, and a touch of history. 
What would be the outlook if all the subjects 
named were formulated in courses of study and 
demanded by supervisors ? 

Summary of the Doctrine of Concentration. 389 

I answer, from the quantity standjioint, that it QuaUty versus 
would he confusion worse confounded. From, the ^^^^^^^y- 
standpoint of quantity, the prevailing studies in 
primary and grammar schools are all-sufficient. 
Indeed, expert investigations have shown that after 
eight years of drudgery the children do not read, 
write, or cipher well, and understand very little, 
comparatively, of geography and history. What 
would hecome of the schools if botany, zoology, 
geology, and the other central subjects were intro- 
duced ? The burden would indeed be greater than 
either pupils or teachers could bear. 

If, then, the theory of concentration be true, it 
commands a complete reversal of motive in teach- 
ing. It demands that quality of mental action 
shall take the place of quantity. This demand is 
consonant with the goal of all human development 
and progress — freedom. In other words, the busi- 
ness or trade of teaching must be revolutionized 
into the art of teaching. Quality of mental action Art of teachinffc 
may be summed up in one sentence: it consists in 
the supreme power of the mind to reason, to choose 
for itself. 

The basic element of reason is original inference; Qj.j„i^^jjjfgj._ 
the path of original inference is generalization; ence. 
the goal of generalization is the finding of the law; 
the basis of original inference is the knowledge of 
facts, of data gained by observation, hearing-lan- 
guage, and study of text. 'The art of teaching 
consists in the ability to guide self-effort in the 
direction of original inference.' The teacher with 
light enough ahead to lead, moves on towards 
truth, hand in hand and heart to heart with the 
pupil, j 

It will be readily seen that the power of original 


Talks on Pedam^ics. 

Relation of orlgi 
nal inference to 

inference imperfitively demands knowledge of facts, 
gained by experiments, investigation, observation, 
reading, and hearing-language. The emotion re- 
sulting from self -effort in these directions is the 
highest inspiration the mind can have to acquire 
facts. The power of original inference develops the 
power to grasp truth, to know facts. Original infer- 
ence is that knowledge which is intrinsically power 
in itself; it demands summing up of facts, relation 
of ideas; it tests the truth of offered conditions. 
The main reason why children, after struggling 
through the elementary and secondary schools, 
know so little is because the ideal of their teachers 
has been the acquisition of quantity. Reason 
demands quantity, but quantity is subservient to 
reason; reason leads, and quantity follows. 

The crucial test of the theory of concentration 
is found in the doctrine of quality of mind action, 
as opposed to quantity. The motto is, "Take care 
of the quality, and quantity will take care of it- 
self." I would present some of the infallible 
indications of quality teaching: 

(1) The artist teacher watches with the greatest 
care and assiduity the character of each pupil; 
watches mental action through all modes of ex- 

(2) A course_of study is a means to an end; 
from the course of study the teacher selects that 
material immediately needed for the advancement 
of personal mental and moral power. 

StndyofthecMid. (3) The artist teacher is everlastingly studying 
pupils and seeking for better means to assist them 
in righteous self::^effort. Close, persistent, inde- 
fatigable study of the child and of subjects for the 
child is a marked indication of the quality teacher. 

Indications of 
quality teaching;, 

Courses of study. 

Sinnmary of the Doctrine of Concentration. 391 

(4) The artist teacher has some apprehension of 
the infinity of means directly at hand for the 
development of pupils. 

(5) All quality teaching concentres in immediate 
manifestation in character; history lives in the 
child; civics and ethics mean daily life; science is 
applied in school and at home. There is no wait- 
ing for future effects in quality teaching. 

(6) Quality teaching excludes all competition, 
undue rivalry, and the cultivation of sordid ambi- 

(7) The essence of quality teaching is love; its 
one aim, the truth. 

We have tens of thousands of teachers, but we Teachers as stu- 
have few earnest, enthusiastic students of educa- dents, 
tion. Genuine progress on the part of the great 
majority of teachers is scarcely perceptible; after 
a few years of school -keeping their work becomes 
routine, in which their souls seem buried. It is 
an exceedingly difficult thing to introduce methods 
founded upon universally recognized psychology. 
The reason of this is apparent: quantity teaching, Results of quan- 
teaching that can be measured by line and pl»ni- Jg^^g^g^^f^^ 
met, and weighed in the scales of per-cent examina- 
tions — such teaching does not admit or require the 
application of educational principles. We have 
reached the ultimate in the direction of quantity; 
devices and so-called methods have been multiplied 
to the point of surfeit. !A teacher not governed 
by sound principles is an easy prey to the count- 
less devices and methods which infest the educa- 
tional market. \ Given honest, persistent students 
of education, the movement onward would become 
general and effective ; each teacher would contrib- 
bute something of value to the common good. 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Tentatives in 

In penmanship 
and art- 

Co-ordination of 
g^ecgfraphy with 
other studies. 

Some plain facts in the theory of concentration 
may be easily understood and ajjplied. It is not 
necessary, by any means, to master the whole 
theory before the first practical steps in its appli- 
cation may be taken. Indeed, most courses of 
study, now, involve unificatijm-of studies to some 
extent: geograi3hy, for instance, comprehends in a 
vague way history and most of the sciences. The 
particular virtue of this theory is that it admits 
of tentatives. A teacher may see that educative 
thought has a direct influence over the acts 
of word-association, and with phonic, phonetic, 
even word methods, may introduce partially the 
thought factor in teaching the first steps of read- 

In all text-books on arithmetic there are con- 
cessions to the practical use of number in a few of 
its countless applications to the central subjects; 
the main line of study may be enhanced by relat- 
ing arithmetic to geography and science, and the 
drill work still be continued. 

Although copy-book work in penmanship be 
generally maintained, tentatives may easily be 
made in the direction of thought expression. A 
teacher, while following assiduously some " sys- 
tem " of flat copy-drawing, may find occasional 
place for real drawing in connection with botany, 
geography, and the other central subjects. 

In the same line, structural geography may be 
more effectively co ordinated with geology and 
mineralogy, and history with geography. A 
glimpse makes way for a gleam, and a gleam 
broadens into a full blaze of light through honest 
striving in right directions.' "He that doeth 
righteousness is righteous," 

Summary of the Doctrine of Concentration. 


Oue other great advantage maybe mentioned, incentives to 

This doctrine will serve intelligently to suggest, study on the part 

° "^ *° of teachers, 

guide, and control study on the part of teachers. 

Many teachers are very anxious to study — indeed 
do study persistently; but very much of such study 
is groping in the dark, is blind, but honest, stum- 
bling. The theory of concentration presents a dis- 
tinct plan for ec ono mical study on the part of 
teachers, and at the same time demands increased 
and progressive movement. It proves conclusively 
the absolute necessity of knowing the central 
subjects and* their auxiliaries thoroughly, and it 
proves also that the teacher should have masterly 
skill in the modes of expression. This direction 
of study and practice is the application of the 
theory. A teacher must know the subject he 
teaches ; must hnow far more than he teaches ; 
must have great shill in all the modes of expression. 

" The realization of the ideal,'' you say, " is an 
utter impossibility." Certainly, for us, the victims readdng\he^deal. 
of quantity teaching; hut tlie thing to do, the thing 
that must be done, if we are true to our sacred 
work, is to move steadily and unfalteringly to- 
wards tlie ideal, along the infinite line of unreal- 
ized possibilities. I firmly believe that the theory 
of concentration throws a strong light along the 
path of progress; and although in that light diffi- 
culties stand out clear and distinct, difficulties 
multiplied do not produce doubt; to know is to 

The application of this theory gives teachers stndy of per- 
most favorable means for a comprehensive insight tonalities, 
of personalities, the individual powers of pupils. 
Individuals are studied through the action of vari- 
ous modes of expression, which reveal the particu- 

394 Talks on Pedagogics. 

lar attitude of the mind towards all subjects* 
Thus weakness and strength may be perceived, 
right tendencies understood and encouraged, and 
wrong ones corrected. The art of teaching dis- 
criminates the individual, distinguishes him from 
all others, and applies the means needed for per- 
infiuence of study sonal development. The steady, ever-brightening 
on the part of the glow of enthusiasm in the teacher's soul inspired 
^^^ ^^' by the study and application of a far-reaching 

theory, is the most potent, indeed the paramount, 
influence to inspire pupils with a love for work. 
When a teacher loves a few subjects and ignores 
all the rest, the pupils are sure to follow suit. 
f Concentration demands that a teacher shall see 
I truth and beauty in all subjects, for all, are in 
^ nature and purpose one and the same. 
Isolation of sub- f The prominent weakness of education is isoJa- 
^^^^^' [tion of subjects ; reading by itself — first steps and 

consequent ones; writing in copy-books; arith- 
metic with an occasional application; geography 
without history; history without geography; "art 
for art's sake." Indeed, it seems as if the univer- 
sal tendency has been to separate subjects as widely 
as possible; to completely ignore organic synthesis. 
Isolation is analysis gone to seed. No truth is 
more striking than the essential relation of all 
subjects to each other. One can scarcely make an 
effective generalization without going outside of 
the subject immediately in hand. Philosophy, the 
science which groups all sciences into one science, 
proves that the normal action of mind is ever 
toward unity: relation is strength, isolation is 
weakness. Convergence, not divergence, is the law 
\ of normal movement — meeting lines that concentre 
\m the heart of things. 

Summary of the Doctrine of Concentration. 395 

Concentration is utterly opposed to one scheme Departmental 
that has been lately revived by some very intelli- teaching. 
gent teachers. I allude to special or departmental 
teaching in grammar schools, the arguments 
against which can be briefly stated : 

(1) The value of teaching to a pupil is deter- Arguments 
mined by the teacher's personal knowledge of the against depart- 
character of that pupil. Character in its complete 

analysis is revealed by the study of all subjects 
and through all modes of expression. Any mis- 
undei'standing of a pujjil, however slight seem- 
ingly, is apt to lead to disastrous results. A 
special or departmental teacher cannot possibly 
know individual character, for two reasons — lack 
of time and failure of means; a character cannot 
be revealed through any one isolated subject. 

(2) Special teachers, as a rule, study but one 
subject, and therefore do not apprehend in the 
slightest the buttressed power of relations of sub- 
jects. A teacher of penmanship cannot use writ- 
ing as a potent means of thought expression. A 
teacher of art alone, cannot well understand its 
intimate relations to geography, science, and his- 
tory. A special teacher of arithmetic cannot use 
numbers as a mode of reasoning upon all subjects. 
A teacher of reading and elocution has few oppor- 
tunities to use oral expression as a means of in- 
tensifying thought in all-sided expression of all 
subjects. It is not easy for a teacher of history 
to relate that subject to geography as a basis for 
reasoning and memory. How many teachers of 
science see in nature-study the best possible means 
of teaching reading, writing, number, and art ? A 
teacher of literature does not readily understand 
that literature is the mirror of the highest thought 

39^ Talks on Pedagogics. 

of the age in which it was written, and therefore 
does not turn to advantage its reflected rays upon 
historical ejiochs. A director of phj^sical training 
cannot well appreciate that the end and aim of 
all physical exercise is to make the body a more 
efficient instrument of attention, expression, and 
reflection. A teacher of vocal music may fail to 
use the potent influence of cadenced rhythm to 
harmonize body, mind, and soul. In fact, from the 
very nature of things, it is practically impossible 
for a special teacher to use all subjects of study 
and modes of skill for the purpose of concentrat- 
ing them upon one subject. 
A regular teacher (3) *A teacher of forty or fifty pupils needs 
needs every sub- every subject as direct means of individual develop- 
ciiaracten^ °^ ment. To take away any one subject is practically 
to rob the teacher of a potent means of education. 
Regular teacher (4) Whatever a special teacher manages, the 
will not study regular teacher is very apt to omit from his list of 
special teachers, studies, and a failure of interest is the inevitable 
result. For example, how many teachers write 
well enough to teach penmanship ? Do you know 
many teachers who can draw readily and easily upon 
the blackboard ? How many read well enough to 
inspire their pupils with the beauty and truth of 
literature ? with the hidden sweetnesses of poesy ? 
It is argued that specialists give their entire 
time to one subject, and can therefore teach that 
subject better. This argument falls under the 
quality ideal. How much historical teaching 
" scliwelt in der Luft " because the teacher himself 
raphy. knows nothing of the stages and scenes of action ? 

A regular teacher who understands his pupils, and 
whose sole aim is quality of mental action, will use 
* Duiiug the first eight years, 

Suminary of the Doctrine of Concentration. 397 

a subject which he imperfectly knows with far 
greater effect than a sj)ecialist who is comparative- 
ly master of his subject. Knowledge of subjects Knowledge of snb- 
is of immense importance— indeed, ignorance oi^^^^^^^^^^^ 
subject-matter is a fundamental weakness in teach- cMit. 
ing; but great as is its importance, lack of insight 
and knowledge of personal character is the prime 
reason why the efforts of many highly educated 
teachers are wholly ineffective. It should be added 
that a teacher who studies personal character 
needs must be, from the very nature of things, a 
persistent student. The most encouraging feature 
of concentration is that it demands persistent -^ 

study of all subjects, and practice in all modes of 
expression on the part of the regular teacher; in- 
deed I venture to predict that the last teachers to 
study and adopt this theory will be the teachers 
of special subjects. 

? The pre-eminent virtue of concentration is the Economy of men- 
economy of mental power, the path to freedom by tai power, 
the shortest line of resistance. It proposes that 
the action of the mind shall be concentrated from 
first to last upon intrinsic educative thought; that 
. all modes of expression and attention shall be 
auxiliaries, and acquired as auxiliaries. It means 
that the famous " 3 R's " of antiquity may be 
learned — nay, are learned— far better, far more 
effectually and efficiently, used as means to an end, 
than as ends in themselves. It' means that a child 
during the habit-forming and curiosity-seeking' 
period of life shall be led directly to the-sources of 
truth, and shall lay sure foundations for all future 
growth. It means the early establishment of the 
habits of self-effort, of attention, of observation. It 
means the habit of using and applying that which 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Evil effects of 
quantity teach- 

Eternity is 

Revision of 
courses of study 

is acquired. It means the cultivation of judgment 
and the power to generalize; the establishment of 
the true relation between life and school. 

The quantity ideal, I have already said, defeats 
itself, is stultified in 2)iles and heaps of mere for- 
mal acquisitions. The best, the truest, and sweet- 
est of all God's gifts to man, the right of choice, 
the glories of the imagination, the curiosity for 
knowledge, are crushed and maimed by ignorant 
teaching. When the child comes, to its ow^i 
through the mediation of the artist teacher, the 
power, the knowledge, the skill acquired will 
immeasurably exceed that of the few geniuses who 
have blessed the earth. A genius is an unsup- 
pressed soul, with strength enough to overcome 
all difficulties and reach its own. " Seek first the 
kingdom of heaven and all things shall be added 
unto you." "Eternity is quality," says Hegel. 
" Time is the false reply," affirms Emerson. The 
child will come to his own when he has the liberty 
and conditions of becoming free. 
K Concentration demands the continual revision 
• |of courses of study; revisions comprehending pro- 
gressive movement in the art of teaching. An ideal 
course consists of the presentation and arrange- 
ment of conditions and all the conditions, adapted 
to the steps and stages of being's development. 
Such a course in the hands of poor teachers is 
like an intricate and complex piece of machinery in 
the hands of a tinker. The more meagre the 
course, the better for inferior teachers whose me- 
chanical drudgery is fixed in the Procrustean bed 
of formal monthly tests, and inspired by en hloc 
promotions. An effectiA^e course of study must 
be adapted to circumstances ; by circumstances is 

Summary of the Doctrine of Concentration. 399 

meant the knowledge and skill of teachers, the art 

of supervision, and the intelligence of commnni- 

ties. Such a course of study bends upward under cotirses of s.tudy 

the energy of progressive teachers, and downward ^^"'^^'^ ''^ ^"^^p*^* 
X i. xl . ^ ^ j-i 4.- -t to circumstances, 

to meet the scanty wants 01 the artisan; it moves 

onward toward the ideal; it is constantly receiving 

new additions as skill advances. The theory of 

concentration suggests the line of progress, and 

the outlines of courses of study. 

There is at present no rounded exposition of a 
science of education by an English author. There cation adapted to 
are some excellent works upon education, but they ^ "P'*^^'^- 
are at best fragmentary, and are far from being a 
complete theory. Germany offers us several ex- 
positions of the science of education: undoubtedly 
the best is the Herbartian theory of concentration ;j 
it is certainly well worth the careful and profound 
study of all educators. But, however good and 
sound a theory may be, its adaptation to condi- 
tions must be considered ; form of government, 
relation of classes, and social customs have a 
powerful influence over it. The Herbartian 
theory stops short of the demand for complete 
individual freedom through personal effort. 

For one hundred and eighteen years the greatest 
experiment in the world's history has been tried in 
our Eepublic — the attempt of society to rule itself. 
With the progress and partial success of this ex- Conclusion. 
periment dangerous complications appear which 
imperil its final triumph. Character, whose essence 
is love for God and man, alone can save us, and 
lead us to the time when obedience to divine law 
shall be the one rule of action. In our nation 
alone can the theory of personal freedom be trans- 
lated into action ; tli e doctrin eof personal freedom 

400 Talks on Pedagogics. 

and--ol-c©eeentratiou are QimJUKi'the same. With 
a profound belief in God and man, in Democracy 
as the path to universal freedom, I present this 
theory to you, my fellow teachers, as a suspicion 
{eine Ahnimg) of the truth. 

Democracy and Education. 401 


Throughout the ages mankind has moved on 
under two great controlling ideals of government : ^g^^^^^^^yf ^ 
the predominating one, the rule of the many by 
the few, the aristocratic ideal; the other, embry- 
onic, nnformed, glimmering and flickering down 
the centuries, an ideal at times almost disappear- 
ing from view, again flaming, lurid with porten- 
tous light — a belief that society should rule itself. 

I need not pause to define the ideal of aristoc- Motive of aris- 
racy. History is full of its types in every form ^°^^^^^' 
from the beginning. The fundamental motive of 
this ideal is selfishness, the desire for domination, 
power, ease, luxury. It posits that a few human 
beings are born to rule, are God's anointed ; that 
the rest are subjects, foreordained and predestined 
to obey and to serve without question. Its design 
is the comjjlete suhjugation of tlie masses to tlie 
domination of the feio ; its metliods, to prevent 
human souls from seeking and finding the truth. 

The motive of aristocracy is one and the same 
everywhere, whatever its guise, phase, and method : 
all for one purpose, to one end — complete domina- 
tion and subserviency of the majority to the un- 
questioned will of the small minority. Aristocracy Means of control. 
watches with keen eyes every potent influence, 
and captures it for its own behests. Whenever 
and wherever an organization of state, church, or 

4o^ Talks on Pedagogics. 

society acquires great influence over the masses, no 

matter how good and pure the principles or creed 

that bring it into power, it is seized, bound hand 

and foot, and made to serve the governing power. 

Selfishness masquerades in the garb of purity when 

there is n© other way to reach its ends. 

,. . , Every relidon in itself has been the initiation 

Religion always "^ , . ° , „ ,,,, . „ , 

good for mankind, of something better for man. Ihe great founders 

and reformers of religions have, almost without 
exception, discovered divine truths, have brought 
into the world some great good for humanity, in- 
spirations and revelations for the elevation of hu- 
manity. They and their immediate followers were 
ready to endure torture and death so that new 
truth and new life might touch the souls of men. 
The better the religion, the more it appealed to 
the divine principle in man, the more heroically 
self-sacrificing the deeds of its disciples, the greater 
its influence over the people, the greater its power 
for evil became when controlled . and wielded by 
selfishness. In the history of every great move- 
ment for good there comes the time when, seeing 
its influence, the dominant few grasp it and use 
Religion used as a it as a means of control. This rule has been with- 
SgSie^masses*.^' out exception in the past, and is just as true to-day 
as it was centuries ago; no matter what the party 
or what the sect, predominating influence makes 
it the prey of sordid gain; thus religion suffers un- 
der a burden of reproach and recrimination due 
entirely to the greed of selfish man. A believer 
in democracy and perfect toleration, I shall criticise 
no religion, nor religious sect; I shall confine my 
discussion to those methods which keep man from 
a personal knowledge of divine truth. 
It is my purpose to trace the methods by which 

Democracy ami Education. 403 

selfishness has managed to rule the people, in order Methods of aris- 
to understand their mighty traditional effect upon tocracy. 
a nation which proposes to rule itself. 

The first method is that of mystery. The early Method of mys- 
savage was terrified by the forces of nature; his*®^^" 
more cunning brother hav.'ng solved a few of the 
simpler mysteries used the acquired knowledge to 
overawe and enslave the souls of his brethren. 
Ever since, mystery has been one of the most effec- 
tive means to control the masses. That knowledge 
of nature's laws, which should be a common heri- 
tage, has been shut up in temples and caves, and 
used by astute priests and rulers to keep the masses 
in terrified subjection. Anathemas, promising woes 
unbearable to those who dared to doubt self-con- 
stituted authorities, were thundered in the ears of 
crouching vassals. The most repulsive and repug- 
nant doctrines that have brooded like a nightmare 
over a suffering world had their origin in this 
motive of selfishness and absolute domination. 

The presumption that certain divinely anointed 
persons are the favored recipients of revelation, 
from Avhich the ignorant masses are rigidly ex- 
cluded, and that a human soul is not capable of 
finding truth for itself, have thus been the effective 
means of its utter subjection. Astrology, alchemy, 
and the so-called occult sciences have been in turn 
used to blind the eyes of the ignorant, to make 
them tremble before facts exceedingly simple, and 
which should have been used as means of education. 
The stream of life has been poisoned at its source. 

The second method is that of physical force — Method of physi- 
of prisons, torture, police, and standing armies. ^^ *•"*"• 
It may not be fair to say that all crime is the 
result of oppression, but this statement is not far 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Plan to keep the 
masses in igno- 

Principal use of 
standing: armies. 

Method of isola- 

from the truth. There are crimes which are virtues : 
the crime of disobedience to soul-degrading laws — 
laws that forbid the personal search for truth; the 
crime of rebellion against injustice and ojipression; 
against inhuman laws that have filled dungeons 
with countless thousands, and covered battle-fields 
with slain whose one fault was a desire for lib- 
erty. The plan under the method of ph5^sical force 
was to keep the masses in the total darkness of 
ignorance, and hold them in abject subserviency 
by fear of punishment. This enforced ignorance 
is the jn-olific cause of nearly all genuine crimes, 
or infractions of God's laws; it is the direct and 
inherited outcome of that abuse of power which 
has one aim— the complete domination of the 
masses by a small minority. 

The mighty standing armies of to-day, which eat 
out the hearts of nations and make misery and 
poverty the burdens of society, are kept more as a 
means of suppressing the personal right of choice 
than of defending the nation against foreign 

Isolation of a peo2)le into classes is a powerful 
method of selfishness, f Isolation of society into 
classes and castes is thV sowing of the dragon's 
teeth, from which spring misundorstanding, mis- 
trust, suspicion, contempt, and hateJ A homogene- 
ous people is, from its very nature, a stroug people. 
Up to the time of the Saviour, each nation had its 
national god; everything outside of the nation was 
wrong and wicked; the gods of other nations were 
devils; the national god forbade intercourse and 
commanded extirpation of all peoples not under 
his immediate control. 

The forms of isolation are many, but the effects 

Democracy and Education. 405 

are the same; they are well illustrated by China, Natural isoiatio», 
which is the example of geographical or natural 
isolation : having the oldest civilization in the 
world, making the greatest progress in. its earliest 
civilization, but separated by great mountains and 
deserts from other nations, it is shut up in itself, 
and so does not come under the modifying 
influence of other peoples. The result is stag- 
nation, fixed form of government, fixed ideas, and 
retrogression. The people of China have an utter 
contempt for what to them are the outer bar- 
barians. People must mingle with each other in 
order to know each other ; nations must have 
immediate contact with each other. Even war in 
this respect is sometimes the greatest blessing, 
for, with all its evils, it furnishes that knowledge 
of other nations which the exigencies of growth 

Class and caste isolation has been, and is to- caste isolation, 
day, the strongest means of reducing the essen- 
tial power of a nation, by making its lower classes 
weak and uninfluential. An illustration of this 
is found in India. We are told by the Hindus 
that caste in its origin was a necessity, but it has 
made India one of the weakest nations on earth ; 
it prevents all homogeneity of action. That which 
is true of India is also true of all the nations of the 
old world. Separation of peoples into classes is the 
most effectual means of keeping the common people 
from any notion of their rights. 

Class isolation is supplemented strongly by c/a'^.s class education- 
education. It is a well-known fact that no nation 
in the world other than the United States has 
common schools ; that is, common to all the 
people. The splendid schools of Germany, for 


Talks on Pedaooo:c$. 

Common schools 

peculiar to the 

ited States. 

Sectarian isola- 

Great cival war. 

instance, are class schools. The only free school, 
Volkschnle, is for poor people. This isolation of 
classes and sects in education is a potent means of 
holding society in its stratifications, the permanent 
basis of thrones. Any feeling of personal rights 
on the part of the common people is in the highest 
degree dangerous to the rule of the few; therefore 
the entire machinery of suppression is nsed to 
stifle human reason, or render its results abortive. 
Class separation of children in schools is the only 
safety of central governments. Common schools 
in any monarchy would change its form of gov- 
ernment in twenty-five years. 

Equally influential is church or sectarian isola- 
tion, the education of children of adherents of one 
sect in separate schools. No one can disclaim the 
right of parents to educate their children; but the 
effect of sectarian isolation in school, no matter 
how sweet and pure the religion taught may be, is 
mistrust, contempt, and too often, hatred, of all 
other sects. The creed does not rely upon its 
intrinsic value, but upon its method of isolation ; 
upon the keeping of the children of its peculiar 
sect separate, that they may be inoculated with 
prejudices, instead of being filled with love for all 
mankind. It is true that a few come together 
from all schools into the universities, but there is 
no actual union. The class or the sectarian feel- 
ing by this time has become so strong, that mut- 
ual sympathy is well-nigh impossible. 

Isolation is the most effective method of aristoc- 
racy. If the people of the North and the South had 
known each other in 1861 as they do now, if they 
had been bound together by railroads and tele- 
graphs as in 1894, no power on earth would have 

Democracy and Education. 407 

led them to drench the land in fratricidal blood. 
The foundation of most evil is misunderstanding, 
distrust, repulsion, or hate, the baneful products 
of isolation. People in order to love each other 
and work for each other, must live together in 
communities, must be bound together by common 

The next method of aristocracy to which I allude Method of bribery. 
is hribery. All the machinery and methods of op- 
pression and suppression possible cannot effectually 
keep the human spirit from struggling to become 
free; and so there have been in all ages children of 
the people, with a vagne sense of inalienable rights, 
reaching upward to the light. In war, inventions, 
in learning, no matter how great the difficulties, 
a few pertinacious, persevering souls have made 
their power and influence felt. One effective 
method has been used upon such persons: the 
moment their influence was needed for the rule of 
the few, it was lougJit, — paid for by office, or by 
direct gifts of money, if that were possible. Aris- 
tocracy is ever on the watch for these dangerous 
individuals, who break down the barriers and reach 
heights from which they can look down upon 
" God's anointed." 

We all recall the early republics of Greece and Buying: the people. 
Eome, that were changed into tyrannies by buying 
the franchise of the masses. Bossism in politics 
is the survival of this powerful means of sup- 
pressing freedom of thought. 

But one cannot fail to see in history that in 
spite of all opposition the human spirit has moved 
on: there are ever new necessities creating new 
demands. The primitive method that has domi- 
nated up to within a few years to keep the 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Popular demand 
for edacation. 

The masses will 

Method of quan- 
tity teacMng:. 

masses of people in utter ignorance, controlling 
them by mystery, force, and bribery. Bnt there 
came a time when the demands for education were 
too strong; when a ruler, for instance, would see 
that the subjects of his nation would be better 
servants with some education. Or it may be that 
a glimmer of the truth would come into the brain 
of a king, and he would hear the command, " Let 
my people go." At all events, a movement toward 
popular education has marked this century and the 
latter part of the eighteenth. 

But here arose a great difficulty, — how to make 
useful subjects, and at the same time prevent 
them from thinking and reasoning for themselves. 
The most dangerous thing absolute authority can 
have is a born leader in the lower classes with some 
glimmer of his own rights, — some belief that .he, 
no matter how poor his condition, is equal to the 
highest in the land. This spectre, which has ever 
haunted absolute power, is the " perturbed spirit " 
of all centuries, and will not .down. 

The problem was how to give the people educa- 
tion and keep them from exercising the divine 
gift of choice; to make them believe that they 
were educated and at the same time to pre- 
vent free action of the mind. This problem 
was effectively solved in the method of quantify 
teaching. I need not describe at any great length 
what the method of quantity is : it is the prevail- 
ing method of to-day, — of text-books, pages, word- 
cramming and word-recitation ; of learning, believ- 
ing, and conforming; the method of pedantry; the 
method that limits the mental horizon; the method 
that keeps the mind from looking outside of a cer- 
tain definite circle; the method of implicit belief. 

Democracy ctnd Ediicatmt. 409 

It is the last ditch of the rule of the few — forced 
by necessity to give the people education, but still 
acting to keep the people from the highway of 
freedom. The method of quantity is almost ab- 
solute in its influence; not quite so, for there have 
been in every age geniuses who, given a stone, 
would transform it into the bread of life. 

In order to explain this method, I must con- Quantity teaching: 
trast it with the true method, the method Qf^^^^^^^ 
quality, — quality of mental action. I have said 
that education is self-effort toward freedom by the 
shortest line of resistance, self-effort in finding 
and applying the truth; and this is what I mean 
by quality of mental action— that action of the 
mind which makes original inferences, which goes 
through consecutive reasoning processes based upon 
exact data. The most precious gift of God to man 
is choice; free choice is the dividing line between choice. 

man and man, and man and the brute. All prog- 
ress consists in the discovery and application of 
truth; man was created to contribute his personal 
niite of self-choice to the great body of discovered 
truth. Education consists in presenting the right 
conditions for personal choice. 

If the quality of mental action is right, the quan- Qnaiity teaching:. 
tity will take care of itself. The reason why most 
students have after long years of painful, arduous 
drudgery so little mental power, is that their whole 
ideal is the acquisition of a quantity of facts: they 
have never ha(t any exercise in quality of action; 
their minds are simply passive receptacles, taking 
without resistance that which comes from supposed 
authorities; self-reliance buried past all resurrec- 
tion by sixteen years of persistent word-cram. 

The products of this method of quantity may be 


Talks on Pedagogics. 



The proWem of 

so-called scholars, learned savants, pedants, walking 
cyclopedias; but have not the inventions of the 
ages, the newer discoveries of the truth, been met 
by the opposition of just this class of pedants ? 
The common people have always heard the truth 
gladly; but the pedant, whose belief in himself 
is absolute, whose imagination never catches a 
glimpse beyond the fixed barrier of his own fixed 
belief, has ever rejected it. Pedants and bigots 
are the worst outcome of quantity teaching. They 
have stood as the mighty barriers of progress in all 
ages ; they drove Galileo to prison. It was not one 
sect alone, but all the learned men, both Protestant 
and Catholic, of Europe who opposed him, because 
they had not the power to investigate the truth he 

The most striking example of this quantity 
learning is found in the annals of the little king- 
dom of Prussia, than which no nation has ever had 
a more wonderful history. 

The kingdom of Prussia, consisting of swamp 
and sand, in the cold north, is surrounded, aside 
from the icy waters of the North Sea, on all sides 
by opposing nations: on the east, Russia; on the 
south, Austria and the rest of the German States; 
close by, France and. Great Britain. In the early 
part of the eighteenth century the common people 
of Germany were boors, just emerging from* bar- 
barism, with a language which Frederick-the-Great 
himself said was not fit to be spoken by gentle- 
men. The great problem of Frederick-the-Great, 
a born warrior and a born king, was to make his 
kingdom a power in Europe. Like all the members 
of the Hohenzollern family, he had great insight 
and a profound knowledge of conditions. His fij-st 

Democracy and Education. 41 1 

movement was to train soldiers — a work begun by 
his rough and energetic father. The first soldiers 
to stand firmly in line and be shot down were the 
soldiers of Frederick-the-Great in Silesia. The 
next step in progress was to train workmen — labor- Trained work- 
ers to cultivate the farms and work in the shops. ™^"' 
And for this purpose Frederick-the-Great founded, 
in 1735, the first industrial scliool in Berlin. 

Frederick-the-Great's design — a dangerous one 
for a monarch— was to make his subjects a great 
power in the nation; it was not his purpose to 
raise the lower classes or to increase their politi- 
cal influence, but to give them the skill necessary 
to essential assistance in the government. He 
did not understand the potency of better environ- 
ment upon the awaiting soul. There have always 
been men who have pierced the darkness; who have 
felt the glimmer of the light of freedom ; who have 
had a glimpse of the path of liberty; who, divinely 
appointed, belong to no age and to no one set of 
people. In Prussia the pregnant discussions in 
philosophy by Wolff and Leibnitz came with ^i^iiosophy of 
awakening force; but a still greater influence ^itz. 
came from the republic of Switzerland, when a 
man inspired to save mankind sought for means Pestaiozzi. 
to educate the children, — sought and found. 
That means was quality of action, and the con- 
ditions were to bring the children close to the 
great teacher, Mother Nature. Pestaiozzi trans- ■ 
lated his fundamental precept,!" Education is the j 
generation of power," into action. Generation of 
individual power is what monarchs, kings, nobles, \ 
and princes have everlastingly denied. This hero 
of education, this divinely inspired man, was indeed 
a voice crying in the wilderness, " Prepare ye the 


Talks on Pedagogics. 


Children think 
and kingrs trem- 

French Revoln- 

Rettirn to quan- 
tity teaching:. 

way," — give to each hum an soul tlie liberty to Avork 
out its own salvation. 

Fichte, the great German philosopher, heard of 
the work of Pestalozzi, and he persuaded William 
III. to send ambassadors across the mountains to 
sit at the feet of this teacher of new truth; and 
when he learned how the wonderful teacher 
brought little children around him arud taught 
them sermons in stones and good in everything, 
he said, " I await the regeneration of Germany 
from the teaching of Pestalozzi." This was the 
first glimmer in Prussia of quality teaching, of 
the teaching of self-effort, the first opening of 
the path to freedom. It came into the Prussian 
schools, and for the time controlled them; but 
then came fear and trembling upon the king 
and nobles. The smothered rights of the people 
in France broke, with volcanic horrors, the crust 
of ages of oppression, destroying artificial society, 
threatening all Europe with the same fate. The 
advisers of the king were quick to see the cause: 
"The people are thinking; they believe that they 
are our equals. This is the fundamental cause of 
the difficulty in France, and this is what you are 
doing in the schools of Prussia: you are teaching 
the children to think for themselves; you must 
stop it or you are lost." 

In Prussia a minister of education has complete 
control of educational affairs, and to him the king 
issued his commands: " Go back to the catechism, 
to page learning, to belief in implicit authority; 
go back to that which keeps the soul from becom- 
ing free; return to the methods of quantity." 
And back they went ; then followed years of retro- 

Democracy and Education. 413 

That minister of wrath against oppression, the 
great Napoleon, himself the incarnation of selfish- 
ness, proved the inherent weakness of aristocracy 
by hurling thrones to earth, and crumbling in the 
dust governments supported by oppression. He 
laid his heavy hand upon Prussia, and crushed it Napoleon crushed 
like an egg-shell. Hope seemed gone, and the ^^"^*" 
mighty power developed by the genius of Frederick 
was, to all appearances, annihilated. At this crit- 
ical moment appeared a statesman with the vision 
of future centuries — Von Stein. The great minis- Von stein, 
ter said to the king: " You have feared the masses 
and separated them from you : let them feel your 
sympathy; let us change our method from quan- 
tity to quality; bring back into the schools the 
spirit of Pestalozzi." It was done; a new cultus- 
minister was appointed, and the breath of liberty 
swept over the land. The people felt its saving 
power, and came en masse at the king's call. 
Under Blilcher, at Belle Alliance, the conqueror 
of EurojDe met his final overthrow. 

Indeed, Prussia seems to have particularly set 
itself to solving the problem of just how far it is 
safe to allow a people to think for themselves. 
Her tentacles, never cut, recoil quickly at the first 
suspicion of danger. In 1848, at the time of the 
general uprising in Europe, the first movement of 
Prussia was to suppress quality teaching, obiect National teaching 
, , . . . 1 • ,1 • • J ^ suppressed. 

teaching, science teaching, everything, m fact, 

which led in the direction of freedom. Diester- 
weg, the devoted follower of Pestalozzi, and the 
best teacher of Germany, was dismissed from his 
position as principal of the normal school in Ber- 
lin, and Froebel's kindergarten was interdicted; 


Talks on Pedimm'cs. 

A new caltas 

the flame of liberty was blazing too brightly under 
their fostering care. 

I will cite one more instance. The greatest 
statesman of our day, Bismarck, had the all-ab- 
sorbing ambition to reunite the German states, 
which had been sei^arated ever since the days 
of Frederick Barbarossa, into one great empire. 
How did he do it ? Though an absolute monarch- 
ist himself, he knew how to touch the hearts of 
the people; he knew how to bring them together as 
one. The peojale were sensitive of their own riglits, 
and they must be made to feel that the pui-pose 
of the king was the recognition of these rights. 
A new cultus-minister. Von Talk, was appointed, 
and the teaching of quality again begun in the 
schools — object - lessons, investigations, experi- 
ments, liberty to think, liberty to become free. 
The people, as ever, responded generously and 
heroically: Prussia, at the head of the German 
nation, conquered France, and re-established in its 
pristine glory the ancient empire. Thus, from 
first to last, the education of Prussia has wavered 
between autocracy and democracy, between quan- 
tity and quality. 

There is one more method to which I wish to 
Method of charity, allude briefly, and this I may call the metJiod 
of charity. I would speak of it with many 
qualifications, and would first define as clearly as 
possible what I mean by the method of charity. 
There is a genuine charity which cares for incom- 
petents and unfortunates, for imbeciles, for the 
deaf and the blind, which needs no commenda- 
tion : it is intrinsically ethical. There is another 
form of charity, which keeps people from helping 
themselves, lessens self-effortj and creates paupers 

Most charity 
renders people 

Democracy ami Edtication. 415 

— a charity which has given Europe millions of 

beggars, who hover aroimd the church portals and 

crowd the streets; millions whose regular and 

ostensible business is begging; a method of charity 

which, to-day in America, is creating droves of 

tramps that infest the land. What is the cause of 

this widespread and baneful method of charity ? 

It can with safety be said that nine-tenths of all 

money given in the name of benevolence has for 

its lasting effect the stqjpression of honest self- Suppression of 

effort. When a nation does not give its people^* '^ ** ' 

the means of education, the liberty to become 

free, the genuine means of self-help, there must 

result, from the very nature of things, a great 

mass of poor and wretched people, who are thus 

rendered unable to help themselves. 

A feeling has been sedulously cultivated that 
"giving to the poor is lending to the Lord." The 
result of misconstruing this divine sentence has been 
the development of a great class of human parasites, 
whose motto is, " The world owes me a living, and 
must give it to me." From this class springs much 
of real crime, for it is but a step from beggary to 
burglary. Persistent charity to people who could 
and should be led to help themselves promotes 
crime and vice, and creates a class of incapables. 

But this charity appeals to people in such a 
strong way; it is such a beautiful thing to be 
charitable, " to bind up the wounds." We have The beauty of 
pictures by the score in Sunday-school books and charity carica- 
novels of the sentimental type, which bring tears 
to the eyes of people unenlightened. The Duchess 
rolls through a beautiful park from her magnifi- 
cent castle to some distant brickyard uj)on the 
estate, and finds a poor woman confined to her. 


Enoagfh for all. 

Moral reforms. 

bed with an acute attack of rheumatism, brought 
about by unhealthy surroundings and improper 
nourishment; she is surrounded, it is needless 
to say, by starving children. The Duchess in all 
sincerity prays that the poor sufferer may be re- 
signed to this aflSiction which the Lord has sent 
upon her, gives her a loaf of bread and a bottle of 
wine; all are touched by her kindness of heart. 
She passes to her waiting carriage, silently and 
pathetically watched by neighboring tenants pas- 
sively awaiting their attack of rheumatism and 
consequent visitation. What a horrible carica- 
ture of charity ! Surely it covers a multitude of 
sins when society in its name does penance for 
sins of ignorance, neglect and injustice. "Am I 
my brother's keeper ? " To whom belongs the 
castle, the park, and all these riches ? 

There is money enough, land enough, food 
enough and work enough for all mankind, and 
the problem of charity is the problem of justice as 
well — the problem of the right distribution of labor, 
the right distribution of effort. There is no re- 
ligion or government worthy the name which does 
not give to each individual the means of self -effort, 
the means of self-support, the means of gaining 
food and a livelihood, happiness and freedom. 
This is true charity, not the sham which masquer- 
ades in its holy name, a panacea and a penance for 
the sins of the few against the many. 

There is another work of charity which is worthy 
of the most profound reverence and the greatest 
approbation : I speak of moral reforms that have 
swept over the civilized world during the present 
century; reforms in temperance and all namable 
and unnamable vices that fill God's earth with 

Democracy and Education. 417 

■wretchedness, poverty and crime, sapping the very 
foundations of society. Millions of money are 
spent and millions of devoted lives sacrificed to the 
sacred cause of remedying, — what? That luMch 
never sliould exist, and never would if the nation 
took righteous care of its children. Reform means 

curinq unnecessarii moral -diseases. The deadly ^^^^^5 ^^*"®" 

i' ^ -I sary diseases, 

virus of central and absolute government has in- 
oculated good, humanity-loving people with a 
predominating disbelief in the possibility of de- 
veloping moral character out of the divinity born 
in every child. 

Eager thousands will crowd around enthusias- 
tic orators describing the alarming dangers that 
threaten society, and pointing out the only remedy. 
When shall we have the saine kind of conventions 
of the jJeople to thoughtfully consider the ample 
means of saving every child f Give one tithe of 
the earnestness and enthusiasm to child education 
(prevention) that is given to reform, and the 
blessed work of salvation will be done. 

Moral reforms are necessities caused by false and 
sordid systems of government. Reforms must 
gravitate toward the child; when the exhaustless, a little cMld shall 
loving energy of reform is concentrated there, ^^^^ y^^* 
truth will surely make His children free. 

The rule of the few over the many has been 
universal, because a lack of faith in the people Lack of faith in 
has been universal: men have taught that the *^^ p^^p^^* 
human soul cannot find the truth for itself ; that 
it must have a sure and certain guide, and that this 
guide and this authority reside in certain divinely 
anointed powers, who reign by virtue of special 
grace ; that the masses must follow these guides 
implicitly, unquestioningly. The inevitable result 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Anarchy and ni- 
hilism, products 
of oppression. 

of this method, under the ideal which suppresses 
human action and crushes the divine instinct in 
the human soul, has been poverty, vice and crime. 
It is the cause of untold miseries under which we 
suffer to-day in America. Anarchy and nihilism, 
in their worst forms, are not natural outgrowths 
from the common people : they are the sure and 
deadly products of the method of the rule of 
the few over the many, of the minority suppressing 
the rights of the majority. Let us put the blame 
where it belougs. Not the poor men who hang 
upon the scaffold because oppression has made 
them mad, but the rulers by might, secure in 
palace and castle, who fatten on the vitals of the 
people, they and they alone are responsible for 
political insanity. 

The rule of the many by the few has ever had its 
main buttress in lack of faith in the masses. " The 
masses," is the cry, " have not the intelligence and 
moral power to rule themselves." The methods 
of aristocracy have to all appearances abundantly 
proved this proposition. These methods have one 
aim — the suppression in human souls of God's 
priceless gift of self-choice. That which aristoc- 
racies have most feared is the success of any at- 
tempts toward a democratic form of government. 
Such success would overthrow all the canons of 
their logic. When brother met brother in deadly 
Joy of aristocracy strife in " the greatest civil war that ever darkened 
oyer the prospec- the earth," the aristocracies of the Old World gazed 
tte UiUoti. ^^ ° horn palace and castle upon battle-fields with rap- 
turous delight : they cared not a fig for either 
party — what they prayed for, what they believed, 
had at last come, the destruction of the one great 
trial of the new form of government, which, once 

Democracy and Education. 419 

destroyed, meant peace and comfort for the few, 
continued wretchedness for the many. 

The universal movement, that had its beginning 
when the morning stars first sang together, was 
the tendency of the soul toward freedom. The 
form of government it took was democracy founded Democracy, 
upon the princijjle that society can rule itself; that 
each member of society contributes to the good 
of all, lives for all, and receives from all that 
which all can give. Democracy is the shortest 
line of resistance to human development. A fun- 
damental principle of democracy is the responsibil- 
ity of each for all, and all for each. If one is weak 
in the government, if one is weak who has the 
ballot, who has a choosing power, it means the 
weakness of all; and it becomes the imperative 
duty of all to present the needed conditions to 
awaken the feeling of responsibility. 

The goal of humanity is freedom. Freedom Freedom, 
comprehends the aim and direction of progress and 
the jiersonal education of man. Liberty is the right 
of all men, but freedom is an individual acquire- 
ment through search for God's laws and obedience 
to them. The possession of freedom includes every The ideal of free- 
possible good to the possessor — happiness, citizen- °™' 
ship, personal development, and ethical action. The 
highest personal right a community can accord to 
an individual is the liberty and the means to 
become free. Liberty is accorded by laws written 
and unwritten which restrict the way of freedom 
entirely to personal effort, which place nothing 
between the individual and freedom but the inher- 
ent limitations of personality. The means of ac- 
quiring freedom may be summed up in one word — 

J L- m ^ J-- • +1 4. ^- , Trne education 

education. True education is the presentation of xeads to freedom. 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Mutual responsi- 

The common 

Meaning of the 
common school. 

the conditions necessary for the evolution of per- 
sonality into freedom. Democracy is the only form 
of government under which the methods of freedom 
can be fostered. 

The great central principle of democracy is 
mutual responsibility. Democracy in its essence 
gives to each individual the liberty of becoming 
free; raises no artificial barriers, political or social, 
between him and his goal. This is the ideal of 
democracy. Pure democracy does not exist to-day; 
more than one half of the people of the United 
States are excluded from franchise. I am speaking 
solely of the ideal toward which all human prog- 
ress is tending. Democracy gives the liberty to 
become free, and the essential means of gaining 
freedom; this means is education. 

The highest outcome, and, I say with the great- 
est reverence, the divinest outcome, of all the ages 
of human progress is the common school. Like 
democracy, it is still an ideal; it has not come to its 
own. The only system of common schools of the 
world to-day is that of the United States, and 
we have it only in part. The common school is 
the antipodes of isolation, the antipodes of that 
method so efficiently used by monarchy and hier- 
archy to keep the people from loving each other 
and helping each other. 

The public school in a republic means that in 
their early life children of all classes, of all nation- 
alities, of all sects, of rich and poor alike, children 
of both sexes, shall work together under the 
highest and best conditions in one community for 
from eight to twelve years; that they shall have 
teachers who are trained in the art of all arts — the 
art of teaching; that in the school, before prejudice 

Democracy and Education. 42 1 

has entered their childish souls, before hate has be- 
come fixed, before mistrust has become a habit, 
they shall have influences surrounding them that 
shall lead to the best work with the best motive of 
mutual assistance. 

Why should boys and gii'ls be taught together co-education<, 
from the kindergarten to the university, inclusive ? 
Because they are to live together, to help each 
other throughout life, and must understand each 
other. The isolation of sexes in school has be- 
gotten mistrust, misunderstanding, false — nay even 
impure — fancies. The separation of sexes in school 
is a crime against nature. It is often argued that 
the sexes differ in intellectual capacity and moral 
power, and therefore should be separated in educa- 
tion; if this be true, it is all the more reason why 
they should be together. The strongest factor in 
education is the reflected light of character upon 

The social factor in school is the greatest factor The social factor 
of all; it stands higher than subjects of learning, in education, 
than methods of teaching, than the teacher himself. 
That which children learn from each other in play 
or work, though the work be drudgery, is the high- 
est that is ever learned. The young man in the 
university learns more from his mates, of good or 
bad, than from his professors. This mingling, fus- 
ing, and blending give personal power, and make 
the public school a tremendous force for the up- 
building of democracy. 

Let us now turn for a moment to the problem of The social problem 
America. We who are in the thick of the fight, in "^ -^-^e""^^' 
the midst of a struggle which is overwhelming, do 
not appreciate the tremendous trend of human 
affairs; the danger signals which fly before us are 

422 Talks on Pedagogics. 

miwatched and unlieeded. What are we propos- 
ing to do ? That toliich has never yet been done 
in the ivorld's history. Foreign colonies have 
settled in other nations to be ostracized, per- 
secuted, opposed, and downtrodden ; but here in 

Mingfiiag-, fusing:, America we are bringing together all peoples from 
all parts of the known world, with all their preju- 
dices born of centuries, each naturally having its 
own customs, rooted in earliest times and growing 
with the national growth: the Germans and the 
French, the Italians and the Eussians, the Poles 
and the Irish, each with their prejudices, with their 
views of life, producing different customs, political, 
social, and religious, opposed as earth and heaven. 
Here they come into our broad continent, and we 
propose to have them live together, and legislate 
together for the best good of the whole. No dream 
of the past, no vision of the progress of humanity, 
could ever propose such a tremendous problem as 
this — this blending and fusing of the people of the 
whole earth in one crucible of common interests 
and brotherly love. Amalgamation of interests 
and ideas is the key-note of the situation: if any 
people or sect, no matter what, comes to America, 
lives by itself, speaks its own language, refuses to 
learn the genius of American citizenship, it is 
weakness to all, and if not arrested, threatens 
destruction to all. 

Overcoming preju- Peoples come with their prejudices; for instance, 
the prejudice of separate and class education. I 
have in mind a nation that has given us the best 
discussions and investigations of education ol any 
people on earth; has given more for the study of 
education than any and all the rest of the world 
together; still, they come to this country bitterly 

Democracy and Education. 423 

opposed to co-education, and would legislate and 
use every influence to keep boys and girls separate 
from beginning to end. Peoples come with their 
ideas of class education, and above all, of sectarian 
education. They hold that children must be kept 
apart in their own sectarian schools during the first 
eight or ten years of their lives, in order that they 
may be indoctrinated; and all these peoples are 
honest in their beliefs, and as fixed as they are 
honest. Fancy the antipodal ideas of a pious New 
Englander and an equally pions German on the 
Sunday, or the prohibition question. How shall 
they ever learn to know each other ? When and 
where ? If society is cut into classes following the 
old plan, they will never meet there; nor in the 
church, no matter how pious they may be, for the 
conflict there is as strongly marked. There is but ^.jjg j.^^^^^^ 
one place where children of all nations and sects school, the em- 
can come together, sit upon the same benches, play j.^" ^ emoc- 
upon the same grounds, live together, work to- 
gether, Jcno^v each other, and that is the common 
school. The principal mission of the common 
school is to dissolve the prejudices that have been 
inculcated under the methods of oppression. 

It is a .mistake to suppose that our forefathers bounding of the 
came to the new continent with even the faintest repnhiic. 
glimmer of a purpose to found a republic, or that 
this idea took definite shape before the Revolution. 
The republic grew out of circumstances, and these 
circumstances were favorable: fixed traditions were 
uprooted ; the early settlers left their material sur- 
roundings of tradition; they were transplanted into 
new conditions, where the conflicts and struggles 
of pioneer life, the subduing of virgin forests, the 
contests with the aborigines, and friction of differ- 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Bsgiimingrs of the 
common scbool. 

Schools of the 
English pattern. 

Free schools, 
charity schools. 

Schools in 1837. 

ent nationalities, brouglit out new necessities and 
developed new ideas. 

It is mucli more of a mistake to surmise that 
the dimmest outline of a common-school system 
was in the minds of the founders of America. 
When the proposition was under way that society 
should rule itself, thoughtful men made up their 
minds that society must be intelligent, and that 
the state must furnish the means of intelligence. 
This idea took shadowy form in Massachusetts 
after the Revolution. 

The common-school system of Massachusetts 
owes its origin, as I have said, to no well-defined 
purpose that the community or state should as- 
sume the responsibility of the education of each 
individual. The methods of the ragged, the hedge- 
row, and the dame schools were transplanted from 
England. Eural communities found it less expen- 
sive to establish free schools at the public expense. 
Boston, taking the plan, in general, of the great 
schools of England, early started a limited system 
of free schools for boys. The plan of a free-school 
system was initiated in Massachusetts directly 
after the Revolution, but its early life was extreme- 
ly feeble. Private institutions and academies 
were founded everywhere by religious sects, and 
in these schools most of the children were edu- 
cated. The free schools sank to the level of 
charity schools, to which only poor people sent 
their children. Those who were well enough off 
sent their sons to the academies. 

In 1837, to all appearances, the common-school 
system of Massachusetts was a dead failure; the 
country schools were taught by the spiritual de- 
scendants of the hedge-row and dame school 

Democracy and Education. 425 

teachers of Great Britain, or by uneducated and 
untrained girls. The terms were short, an^ the 
teaching miserable. The academies predominated • 
and controlled education, and bitterly opposed 
anything that looked to the improvement of the 
common-school system. As I have already said, 
our forefathers had no plan, no ideal, of a system 
of universal education, the great apostle of de- 
mocracy, Thomas Jefferson, excepted. He is the Thomas Jefferson, 
one man who saw clearly the absolute conditions 
necessary for the success of democracy; he drew 
an outline of a system which included the primary 
school and the university, supported by the state. 
His great plans fell to the ground for a time, 
throttled by slavery; but the doctrine of universal 
education lived. Thoughtful men were at work 
everywhere — men who felt the immense respon- 
sibility under the new ideal of democracy. 

In Connecticut, previous to 1837, educational The common 

reformers appeared, who were strong advocates of ^^^°} ^f ^°i^" 

^\ ^ o , necticutand 

a common-school system. The most prominent Vermont. 

of these men is alive to-day — Dr. Henry Barnard,* 

of Hartford. He was ably supported in his efforts 

in Connecticut by Dr. Gallaudet, the renowned 

teacher of deaf-mutes, by William C. Woodbridge, 

and others. 

In Concord, Vt., Eev. S. R. Hall had started the 

idea of training teachers for their work. S. Gr. 

Carter, of Massachusetts, vigorously seconded this 


* To uo man living does the common-school system owe 
so much as. to Dr. Barnard. He was a pioneer in educa- 
tion before Horace Mann began his work ; he has published 
more works upon education than any other man in the 

Talks on Pedagogics. 

The common 
school in danger 
of f ailnre. 

But tlie whole system of common schools was in 
ji state of collaj^se, and in danger of ntter failure, 
' when a great ihan grasped the situation, and gave 
his life to the work of promoting the interests of 
the common school. Horace Mann, born in 1796, 
in the little tov/n of Franklin, Mass., was a typical 
New England boy; raised in poverty upon a rough 
farm, he heard what every boy of that time had 
ringing in his soul, — "Get knowledge; knowledge 
is power." He worked upon the farm, braided 
hats, and studied by the light of pitch-pine knots; 
made use of the scanty means of the common 
school; prepared for college; taught school; went 
through Brown University, and then studied law: 
he did all this unaided. By indomitable will he 
struggled toward the tempting goal, and at last 
found himself on the highroad to success. No man 
in Massachusetts at that time had such a future. 
He was the peer of Cliarles Sumner, his contempo- 
rary. Great statesmen were needed; Horace Mann 
made a success at the bar, a success in politics; he 
was honored and respected by the most intelligent 
of his fellow citizens. He was gifted, like all in- 
sjiired men, with a deep insight into the future; he 
comprehended the tremendous responsibility of citi- 
zenship; he felt the imminent danger in the out- 
working of the new plan of democracy; loitliout 
intelligence among the people lie hneiu that democ- 
racy would he a failure. 

Horace Mann was a thorough democrat; he 
believed in the people; he believed in the new 
form of government; and he knew that the plan 
was certain of failure unless it was supported by 
intelligent people. The success of the common 
school was to him the one hope of democracy. 

Democracy and Education. 427 

He aroused some enthnsiasm among educated 
people in regard to the common schools, and was 
influential in having a board of' education ap- Board of Ednca- 
pointed by the General Court. This board of edu-^^s^PJ"^^^*'^^^^'' 
cation was appointed to investigate the public- 
school system, and see what could be done to pro- 
mote its welfare. A man was needed to guide the 
investigations. Horace Mann, as I have said, had 
every prospect of a famous career, — everything 
that the state and nation could give was open to 
him, — a high place as a legislator and statesman. 
But he knew in his soul that sometliing must be 
done, that something must be done which could not 
be done in legislative halls, which must be done 
with the peoj^le. The board of education, of which 
Horace Mann was a member, selected him as its Horace Mann 
secretary, and begged him, with a full comprehen-^'^"®^"*''^**®*®'^' 
sion of the sacrifice demanded, to give his life to 
the work. In doing so he must renounce all ideas 
of fame and honor; he must give up his chosen 
path; he must go into a fight in which there was 
no glory, in which he must sacrifice every personal 
ambition. He accepted the office at the meagre 
pittance of 11000 a year, and in 1837 began his 

He found in Massachusetts what has been found Rousing- pnbiic 
in every state: the idea of the responsibility of^^"^ ^^n . 
communities for each child was repugnant to the 
people. An echo of that ancient cry, " Am I my 
brother's keeper?" finds easy lodgment in the 
hearts of unthinking people„ There was in their 
minds little sense of responsibility. Most of them 
were farmers, hard at work at the problem of self- 
preservation. The light of the common school, as 
I have said, was just flickering, ready to expire. 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Indifference of the I cannot in a few words give you an adequate 
*^°^ ^' idea of the self-sacrifice and devotion of this Hero 

01 Education. He went all over the State of Massa- 
chusetts, and though an incomparable orator, with 
great magnetic power, he was met on the part of 
the people by sullen indifference; he talked in 
schoolhouses, many times, to audiences of a half- 
dozen people. He strove with all his eloquence to 
convince them of their responsibility in education. 
Horace Mann painfully realized his own limita- 
tions, his own lack of knowledge in the direction 
of education. He sought everywhere for books, 
but found few. He visited schools, and found 
less to assist him. "Is there," he thought, "any 
place in the wide world where I can get help for 
the children ? "' He had heard of the schools of 
Europe, of Germany and Scotland in particular. 
There were no means of paying his expenses; he 
sold his precious law library, took the money and 
visited the schools of the Old World; went from 
schoolhouse to schoolhouse, observing and study- 
ing. He* returned, and in his famous Seventh 
Annual Keport told the people of Massachusetts 
what he had found. I can give the substance of 
his discoveries in a few words: 

(1) He found that corporal punishment could 
be greatly diminished. The essence of method in 
Massachusetts consisted of the ferule and the strap, 
without which, it was believed, there could be no 

(3) He found that the children could learn to 
spell better by writing words than by the common 
method of oral spelling. 

(3) That there were improved methods for teach- 
ing reading; that it was unscientific and wrong to 

Democracy and Eciucation. 429 

learn the names of letters as a means of taking the 
first steps. 

He presented his propositions for reform, as I 
have said, in his famous Seventh Annual Eeport. 
He had discovered something for the children, 
something better, something sweet and good and 
pure. His advocacy of " newfangled notions " 
met the usual fate: the pedants, the disciples of 
quantity teaching, were there to meet him and to 
deny every proposition. 

One would fancy that the school-teachers of opposition to 
Massachusetts, especially of the intelligent city Horace Mann, 
of Boston, would have received him and his dis- 
coveries with open arms; but far from it. They 
denied in toto every proposition he made; they 
proved to their own satisfaction that that which he 
brought was nonsense; that their ways were the 
best ways; that the strap must be used; that the 
"A, B, C's^' must be taught; and that the chil- 
dren must go through the dreary round of oral 
spelling before they could learn to spell. The 
battle was a fierce and prolonged one : the people 
were aroused against the innovations, and accused 
the children's champion of heresy and fanaticism. 

Fortunately there stood at the back of Horace opposition to the 
Mann a few of the most intelligent people in new ideas. 
Massachusetts. He had one great advantage — 
he commanded the profound respect of thought- 
ful men of the time. From the opposition to his 
simple and reasonable projiositions he learned 
a valuable lesson: without intelligent, trained 
teachers there could be no progress in schools; and 
to this end he worked for years against the fiercest 
opposition. The believers in isolated education 
opposed, and have always opposed, the common- 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Opposition oi the 

Fotmdtug: of tlie 
first normal 

First normal 
school in New 

school system; the bitterest opposition came in 
organized form from the academies. 

Wiien Horace Mann proposed that teaching 
should be a profession, and that teachers must be 
educated like ministers, lawyers, and doctors, a 
howl of derision, of ]3rofound contempt, went uj) 
from the private schools, was echoed by the col- 
leges, and sustained by the people. Quantity 
teaching needed no preparation except firmness 
and brutality, supported by the ferule and the 
strap. The "new idea" would spoil the "busi- 
ness," as it did that of the Ephesian artisans. 

After a heroic struggle against pedantry on one 
hand and stinginess on the other, this leader of 
democracy founded, near the old battle-ground of 
Lexington, the first normal school in America, in 
1839, and put it in the hands of Father Pierce, 
another hero in education. Then, one after an- 
other, normal schools were established in Massa- 

The pioneer work of Massachusetts had a great 
influence over the other States, notably New York, 
and after a prolonged struggle a normal school 
was established in Albany, N. Y., in 1843.* Three 
hundred academies in the Empire State fought 
tooth and nail against the founding of this 
school; their cry was: "AYe are sufficient for all 
these things ; we can train teachers." But in spite 
of all opposition the new idea grew, because it 
was true; because people began to believe that the 
establishment of the common school meant the 
perpetuity of the republic. 

The establishment of normal schools was the 
first great step in the forward movement of the 
* Pavid P. Page, principal. 

Democracy and Education. 431 

common-school system; it meant better teaching. 

All the normal schools of the United States took 

their pattern from the schools established by 

Horace Mann. The first normal school of which 

a v/oman was principal was founded in St. Louis, 

Anna C. Brackett, graduate of the Framiugham . « „ , ^^ 
. Anna C. Brackett. 

Normal School, being at one time its efficient head. 

The early period of the common schools was one 
of chaos, of dim ideas, of glimmerings, of flicker- 
ings; the people had to be convinced of the neces- 
sity for common schools. The idea of expense 
frightened the people; the opposition, as I have 
said, of private institutions was great, and colleges 
and universities, as is the case to-day, with some 
notable exceptions, had little or no sympathy for 

The second period of the common schools may period of organi- 
be called the period of organization, the building zation. 
of schoolhouses, organizing systems of education, 
making courses of study, grading schools, getting all 
the machinery necessary for effective school-work. • 

Then followed a period of groping after means Better methods, 
and methods of teaching; a strong suspicion of 
something better was aroused in the minds of 
people and teachers. The evolution of the common- 
school system covers a period of less than sixty 
years; in Illinois, less than forty years; and in the 
South it has been organized since the war. 

The rapid growth and development of the com- common school, a 
mon-school system of the United States has no genuine product of 
equal in all history : born of the people, supported 
and nourished by the people, it has steadily made 
its way into the hearts of the people, and has be- 
come an absolute necessity in the growth and per- 
petuity of our political institutions. 

432 Talks on. Pedagogics. 

Centralization in In the Old World, where public schools, not 
the control of common schools, have been established, the sj^stem 
is entirely controlled by central power, by the min- 
ister of education, by one intelligence, to which 
everything is subordinate. There are great ad- 
vantages in the matter of organization, and a great 
saving of time, to appearances, in such a plan of 
central power. The authority, for instance, of the 
cultus-minister reaches every school in Prussia; he 
can determine the text-books, the course of study, 
and the method; but in our country we have no 
central system. The citizens of each school-district, 
the citizens of a city, have absolute control over 
their schools; there is no domination from the 
centre; even the State assumes very little control 
of the schools, outside of enabling acts, and limi- 
tations in the matter of time and general subjects 
of study. This is probably the best illustration in 
all history of true democratic growth. What the 

Democracy in the sq^qqIs ^re, their value in education in the district, 
control of schools. ^ 

is determined by the peoj)le themselves. In the case 

of two adjacent districts, one may have excellent 
schools and the schools of the other be in a 
very inferior condition. This, superficially con- 
sidered, would argue the sujaeriority of a central 
system; but the democratic mode of growth is 
from within, and admits greater possibilities than 
any other plan. 
The democratic A central system easily becomes fixed. For in- 
th^io^grun.^''''' stance, to-day the schools of Germany, pedagogi- 
cally speaking, are far better than the schools of 
the United States ; in fifty years the schools of the 
United States will exceed in value the schools of 
all the world, because our plan tends to originality 
and to research — it brings out the best in all. With 

■' Democracy and Education. 433 

all its defects, the common school of the United 
States stands, to-day, as incomparably the noblest 
and best institution on earth. It has accomplished 
vast results; the common-school system is the heart 
of the republic. But the high accomplishment has 
not been through methods of teaching or subjects 
taught: it has consisted principally in the great 
social factor, — the mingling, blending, and fusing 
of all classes of society. 

It is, then, for every thoughtful person to con- what remains to 
sider with the greatest care the present situation of ^^ done? 
the common-school system, and what can be done 
to make it better. To this subject I invite your 
attention. What has been done and what remains 
to be done ? Viewing it from the standpoint of 
the growth of a great central idea, of the partial 
realization of a divine inspiration, the common- 
school system of the United States is exalted in 
the highest degree. But when we consider what 
is to be done, we can see plainly that we have made 
small beginning; that the common school is still 

in its swaddling-clothes; that it has been started; "^<"it'^°f the com- 

... mon-school sys- 

that the best and most favorable criticism that can tem. 

be made upon it is, that it can be made far better 

than it now is; that it must be made better; that 

it is not equal to the demand, — the salvation of all 

the children. 

Democracy means the responsibility of all for Lack of faith in 

each ; the common school is the direct exposition the education of 

^ ^ children, 

of this fundamental i^rinciple; common education 

is the means of freedom. The children of to-day 
are in our hands; whatever we do for them will be 
the future. Our lack of faith in this direction is 
the greatest infidelity. To use a common illustra- 
tion : a Kentucky farmer will look at a hundred 


colts and say, '' I will train every one of them to 
become a useful horse." We look at the children 
and decide that we can save but a few of them; 
that many of them must become criminals, many 
of them a burden upon society; that many of 
them will enhance vice, and put barriers in the 
way of our political institutions. We must believe 
that we can save every child. The citizen should 
say in his heart: "I await the regeneration of the 
world from the teaching of the common schools of 

The foundations of the great American system 
of education into democracy have been laid by 
devoted patriots. The j^eople believe in the com- 
mon school. The necessary orgauizations are now 
ready for a great advance; the line of progress is 
plainly before us; that line is parallel with the 
great lines of progress in this century that have 
been marked by searching, prolonged investigation, 
and profound study — study that has compelled the 
natural forces to yield themselves to the service of 

(1) The same kind of study, the same wisdom, 
earnestness, and zeal, must be given to the study 
of the being that " God made a little lower than 
Himself," — the child. Already careful investiga- 
tions in child life are being made by humanity- 
loving scientists all over the civilized world; won- 
derful results are at hand. 

(2) The conditions must be discovered and 
Sonschoo?' applied, by which every child may be developed 

into the full stature of manhood or womanhood. 
All sciences have been reformed, and some, revo- 
lutionized within a few years; means for the 
genuine study of history have been multiplied' 

Democracy ami Education. 435 

literature, sweet, pure, and good, is made accessi- 
ble to every child; art with its treasures stands 
ready to help. Compared with the paucity of 
means of even fifty years ago, the supply is un- 

(3) The conditions of knowledge and action 
must be adapted to the development of the whole 
being. This adaj^tation, general and individual, 
is called method, the essential factor in the art of 

No subject of inquiry, study, and investiga- The science of 
tion is comparable to the science of the soul and education, 
the laws of its development. This is the science 
of education, the science that comprehends all 
sciences. Like all other sciences, if we except 
mathematics, there is an infinity of knowledge 
yet to be found in this comprehensive science. 
Progress in education means a knowledge of the 
science of education and its application ; it 
means that teachers must be educated, cultured, 
and trained into the most important of all pro- 

What stands in the way of the one precious . 
thing on earth — the freedom of the soul, the ad- 
vancement of civilization, the happiness of man ? 
I answer, first of all, tradition and its methods. 
It is impossible to measure the tremendous influ- 
ence of tradition. It is very difficult to draw the 
line between education and heredity, but it is far 
more difficult to draw it between tradition and 
original personal power. We are at best creatures influence of tradi- 
of tradition, controlled by the past, often bound ^°'^' 
hand and foot by the fixed habits of mankind; 
and this influence is dominant to-day in our public 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Methods of aris- 
tocracy in our 
common schools. 

Method of mys- 

Common sense 
ruled out. 

The methods of the few, in their control of the 
many, still govern our public schools, and to 'a, 
great degree determine their management: the 
method of the prison, torture, police, and stand- 
ing army survives in corporal punishment; the 
method of bribery, — in reward and prize giving. 
Both of these immoral methods are absolutely use- 
less; they are the outcome of quantity teaching 
and the makeshifts of unskilled teachers. Given 
devoted trained teachers, together with right sur- 
roundings and the right educative work, there is 
absolutely no necessity for either corporal punish- 
ment or the bribery of rewards. 

The method of mystery still exercises its fearful 
power, — the inoculated belief that there is some- 
thing occult and mysterious in knowledge. The 
height of art is its simplicity, and the same can be 
said of the art of teaching. What I mean by the 
control of mystery is illustrated by the attitude of 
the people toward education. Let a teacher in a 
country school teach that which a farmer most 
needs upon the farm, — practical chemistry; let 
him teach soil, physics, meteorology, zoology of 
the insects that infest his crops; let him teach 
arithmetic sensibly by measuring and weighing,— 
and the farmers would call an indignation meeting 
and put out a man holding and teaching such new- 
fangled notions. By learning they mean some 
mysterious process foreign to them. It does not 
readily enter their minds that that which is most 
practical is most logical, and that the old teaching 
of quantity, the mysterious pedantry of the school- 
teacher, who is supposed to know so much, is a 
relic of barbarism, and should hold the same place 
in the world of affairs as the sickle and the scythe, 

Democracy and Education. 437 

I have used the farmer simply as an illustration : common things 
the same false ideas pervade all society to the det- not study, 
riment of education. The chemistry needed in 
the kitchen, the physiology that pertains to health, 
the physical training that develops a sound body, 
the history and civics essential to citizenship, the 
necessity of practical ethics, the relation of hand- 
work to the brain and to true success, are little 
appreciated; while memorizing a jumble of words, 
grammar that will scarcely be used for lack of 
thought, a mastery of that incubus upon English 
education — the intricacies of unphonetic spelling, 
are the idols of the people, and, alas ! of the 
majority of teachers. 

The aristocratic idea of charity is still a potent MaMng the com= 
influence in education. Our school system began ™°^^5.°°^^^j 
as charity schools, — charity schools such as the 
Volksschule of Germany. Mar.y wealthy peoplo 
who have the traditional or parvenu feeling of 
class distinction look to-day upon the common- 
school system as a charity, and hold that there 
should be one education for rich children and 
another for the poor; that the children of the rich 
should not mingle with and be contaminated by 
the children of the poor. I have had much to do 
with both classes, and I wish to say here that in 
my contact with the poorest children I have found 
as much of intrinsic morality and vigorous mental 
1 wer in them as in rich children; this false idea 
of contamination is born of the past, a reappear- 
ance of the old-time aristocratic idea of separation 
and isolation. In a good school, with excellent 
teachers and the right surroundings, there is no 
more danger of contamination than is to be found 


Talks on PeJaoo^ics. 

For the rich and 
not for the poor. 

Separation into 
classes the doom 
of the Repablic. 

Education not a 

in the ordiBary home and class environment of 

The other day I heard an excellent lecture from 
the distinguished sujjeriutendent of schools of the 
State of Missouri, in which he urged better things 
for the children — more of science, a better knowl- 
edge of nature and of history. A gentleman stepped 
upon the platform to thank him for his lecture, at 
the same time remarking, " What you say is well 
enough for the rich, but it is not for the poor." I 
would not rejseat this saying if it did not so well 
voice the sentiment of a large class of jDeople, who 
hold that there must be one system for the rich and 
another for the poor; that the common school is a 
charity, and must be governed accordingly. This 
is the essence of the old traditional idea that has 
done its work so effectively in the past, stultifying 
the reason, and suppressing the souL 

When in American society classes become per- 
manent, and the children of these classes are edu- 
cated in separate schools, the doom of the Eepublic 
is sealed. There can be no separated classes in a 
republic; the life-blood of a republic must stream 
from the ground up; there can be no stratified 

No child, no citizen of a republic, can be educat- 
ed into citizenship outside of the common school ; 
the common school j-^ not a charity; it is the in- 
alienaile right of every child, and common educa- 
tion is the imjjerative duty of every community. 
On a lower plane we may look at universal intelli- 
gence as the one means for the preservation of the 
republic; society, in order to preserve itself, must 
develop the highest character in every child. 

The charity idea obtains largely among manu- 

Democracy and Education. 439 

xacturers and people wlio depend njion laborers and Christianity and 

servants. I once talked with a gentleman upon <^T^^oail^^tax\3\.g. 

religious subject ; he seemed to be imbued, or 

thouglit he was, with the spirit of Christ; he was 

a nail-manufacturer. When I spoke to him about 

the education of his employes, suggesting that 

they should have better opportunities for personal 

improvement, he said: " But that would spoil them 

as laborers. I must have employes; there must 

be a class of workers." This Christian gentleman 

was entirely willing to suppress human souls in 

the interest of nails. 

The method of quantity teaching is without The method of 
doubt the most prominent. You will remember J^^^*^ *'**=''" 
what I have said of this method : that its means are 
the most effective in keeping children from any- 
thing like a search for the truth, and from a reali- 
zation of their own liberty — the method of text- 
books, page learning, per-cent examinations, with 
all the countless devices and means which serve to 
make quantity learning the end and aim of educa- 

When the common school was founded there was Quantity teaching 
little or no knowledge of or belief in a science of opposed to the 
education. Most of our teachers took their patterns J^^^" "^ ^'^°*=*" 
from England, where at that time the discoveries 
of Comenius and Pestalozzi had kindled no life. 
The old methods naturally took the field, and held 
their ground, and, alas ! still hold. The great 
majority of the people are firm believers in quan- 
tity ; they insist that their children shall " go over," 
" go through," but particularly shall " finish." 
They measure education by the yard and weigh it 
fey the pound. The people of to-day are the people 


Colleges demand 

A leader of aris- 
tocracy does not 
beUeve in a science 
of education. 

Contempt shown 
by universities 
for the science of 

The first chair of 
pedagfogics in 

of yesterday, their fixed ideas the inheritance of 
theii- teachers' teachers. 

The colleges demand quantity ; they do not ask 
applicants, "■ Who are yon ? What have you done ? 
What can you do ? " But, " How many pages have 
you learned ? Have you read Virgil ? Xenophon ? 
Homer ? Come in and learn some more words." 

The strongest indication that quantity teaching 
is in the ascendancy is the profound disbelief of the 
people in anything like a science of education. I 
have not time to j^rove that there is a science of 
education. If, however, there is no such science, 
then all the other sciences are myths and delusions. 
Science is organized knowledge of law; and to deny 
that there is a science of education is to deny that 
the development of human beings is governed by 

Robert Lowe (Lord Sherbrooke), while at the head 
of the English Privy Council, and Chairman of 
the Education Committee, was asked to support a 
movement for the establishment of chairs of ped- 
agogics in universities. " There are no principles 
of education," said this child of tradition. Less 
than fifteen years ago a distinguished head of a 
great university declared that all there is to peda- 
gogics could be learned in an hour and a half! It 
is well for me to say here, that the gentleman has 
changed his mind most decidedly; indeed, he is a 
prominent leader in the so-called new education. 
Colleges did not recognize this science until with- 
in a few years. The first Professor of Pedagogics 
in America, Miss Bibb, was appointed in the Uni- 
versity of Missouri within a few years. 

The substantial disbelief in a science of educa- 
tion, and the almost universal indifference in 

Democracy and Education. 441 

regard to it, has oue cause, and that cause is Quantity teaching 

demands no pro- 
fessional training. 

quantity teaching; the stimulus to the drudgery <^«°^^'^s^°p'^°- 

is the strap, or, worse, rewards and prizes, A 
teacher with a conscience, an artist teaclier, can- 
not do such menial service : it would be like requir- 
ing a Eaphael to paint a board fence. If quantity 
teaching is ideal teaching, then the plainest deduc- 
tion is, there is no science of education. 

By far the greatest barrier to making the com- 
mon school what it should and can be, by no means 
springs from active opposition to the system or from 
the patronage and pulls of pot-house politicians: 
the greatest harrier is iJie p7'ofou7id indifference of 
the most intelligent people in regard to tJie possibil- 
ities of radical improvement. This indifference has 
been enhanced until within a few years by the in- 
fluence of colleges and universities, in which quan- 
tity instruction has had full swing. The average Member of a 
member of a school board often fancies that lie ^j^'^^g^'^^^j^jj^^ 
knows all there is to be known about teaching; his education on the 
measure is the quantity standard, acquired in i^jg ft^iantity side, 
own education, which he rigidly enforces, crushing 
every effort toward quality work.* 

The social and political standing of teachers 
indicates the general depreciation of anything like 
a science of education or an art of teaching. When 
a discussion of an educational question is provoked, 
that of "fads," for instance, the opinions of edu- ^^^^^ 

cators are not generally invited; quantity teaching 
has instructed every citizen in the exact needs of 
the schools — quantity is the standard of judgment, 
and the "3 R's" limit the education of freemen!! 

* " We have excellent schools and no incompetent teach- 
ers" exposes the standard of education on the part of an 
incompetent member of a school board. 


Talks on Peaagogics. 

Quality is free 

Wo science of edu- The people generally have never felt the quick- 
Sitrs'^rd- ening power of scientific teaching: they believe 
point. that their children must submit to the same pro- 

cess that they have endured; they judge teachers by 
their power to go over the most ground tlioroughly. 
To them there is no need of a science of education, 
and from the quantity standpoint this judgment is 
perfectly logical. Scientific teaching means quality 
of mental action; it means the shortest line of re- 
sistance in the advance toward truth; it means the 
development of mental and moral power — a power 
that comprehends conditions and overcomes ob- 
stacles. I repeat, profound public indifference 
and an alarming ignorance in regard to the pos- 
sibilities of education are the greatest obstacles 
to progress. 

Quality is freedom. Let the quality of mental 
action be right, quantity will take care of itself. 
The principal cause of so many dullards is quantity 
teaching. Quantity teaching is strongly intrenched 
by incompetency. An imperative demand for sci- 
entific teaching would throw large numbers of 
present school incumbents out of business, or 
make them burn the midnight oil to an extent 
hitherto unheard of. 
Quantity teaching The quantity plan is the politician's opportunity, 
the poutician's r^j^g ^^^^^ ^^^^.^ ^loney for schools than for 

opportunity. ^ -^ *' 

any other purpose, except prisons, penitentiaries, 

poorhouses, and criminal courts; the schools pre- 
sent the most places to fill with " friends," whose 
acquirements, as a rule, are of the lowest order. 
Thousands of girls without culture, with very 
deficient education, manage, after repeated trials, 
to pass cram examinations met by quantity drills — 
examinations that are no tests whatever of ability 

DemoLracy and Education. 443 

ro teach. These smne giris, the daughters, friends, 
and rehitives of ward politicians with a pull, are 
put in charge of fifty or more immoi'tal souls, to 
repeat as best they may the wretched process of 
quantity teaching. Very few men remain in the 
profession on account of the low salaries, the pre- 
cariousness of positions, the catering to public 
opinion, and, worst of all, the demand for fawning 
vassalage by corrupt or ignorant political 

The evolution of democracy must needs have its Hoj.j.ors of demo- 
horrors; patriots will bear, and at the same time cratic evolution. 
strive to overcome, them. But the culmination of 
horrors is to place the interests of innocent children 
in the hands of expediency politicians. Let them 
steal public money, rob treasuries, and enrich them- 
selves by boodle; but in the name of High Heaven 
let them keep their corrupt hands away from the 
priceless treasures of home and the dearest hopes 
of the future. 

Although the initial battle for the common ^ 
.-,-,, p Enemies of the 

school has been fought and won, still it has common school. 

many open and secret enemies. Who are they ? 
I do not believe that there is a man or woman 
in our republic, to-day, who has enjoyed the 
benefits of the common school but is its warm 
supporter. If there is one, I have never seen him 
nor her. First, the opponents of the common 
school are those who were born and bred out- 
side of the atmosphere of liberty, who have had 
environment and traditions that compel them to 
believe as they do. It would be strange indeed if 
the most influential newcomers, whose education 
has been received in surroundings entirely opposed 
to the spirit of liberty, of which the common 
school is the main buttress, did believe in our sys- 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Method of isola- 

Common school 
destroys caste. 


tern of schools. They are honestly opposed to the 
system, and should be respected for their honesty 
and met by honest argument. 

The fundamental method of the Old World 
education is isolation; it is sujaported by no par- 
ticular party nor sect; the people educated in this 
method believe in it from their habit of life and 
the tradition of ages. Why should they understand 
the genius of American liberty ? Why should 
those who have become habituated to class educa- 
tion believe that the stratification of American 
society into fixed classes means sure death to the 
republic and the future hopes of democracy ? 
Class education means that the children of one 
class would become indoctrinated with the opin- 
ions, political and religious, of other classes; that 
fixed beliefs would become unsettled. 

So far as the destruction of these fixed ideas is 
concerned, the argument is logical: the common 
school destroys caste, makes democrats, anni- 
hilates the domination of the few; but so far as 
religion pure and undefiled is concerned, the in- 
ference cannot be sustained. Forty-seven hours 
for teaching and training in the family per 
week; twelve hours of the holy Sabbath for wor- 
ship in church, Sunday-school, and at home; and 
hoenty-five hours of mixed society life under guid- 
ance in the public schools : is it possible that the 
strong tenets of any religion can be overcome in a 
community where religion is never mentioned, but 
continually practised? Of all places in the world 
where children can practise religion, the school is 
the most favorable : here are the weak, the poor, — 
yes, the vicious; they come for help. "He that 
doeth righteousness is righteous." School is the 

Democracy and Education. 445 

place for doing, not preaching, righteousness. No, Common school 
,-, J, ,1 i. j; J.1 the best place to 

the purpose- 01 the opponents 01 the common pj-^ctici religion. 

school is not to teach religion, but to preserve the 

integrity of aristocratic power, by isolation and the 

consequent maintenance of distinct classes. 

The marvelous growth of the fundamental Wonderful 
democratic idea — the common school— is unparal- ^^'^^^1^^"^^^^^^^ 
leled in history. The traditional plan of private, system, 
class and sectarian education has been overturned. 
The proposition to give every child a good edu- 
cation at the expense of the community and state 
has been established upon a permanent basis by 
the votes of the people. Millions of money are 
freely given every year for common education; 
open and direct opposition, that marked the early 
stages, is becoming less and less. Glorious as this 
work is, it is but the foundation for the super- 
structure, the initial step to improvements in- 
finitely better. 

The progress of the common school imjjeratively'^^^^'^^fT^^-^i 
demands the ap'jMcation of the science of educa- 
tion. The methods of quantity instruction have 
reached their utmost limits; the time for quality 
teaching has fully come. What stands in the way ? 
First of all, the profound indifi'erence of intelli- 
gent people in regard to better teachers and teach- 
ing, an indifference resting ujoon an obstinate 
disbelief in the possibilities of the art of teaching. 
It is a product of quantity teaching, from which 
are derived the prevailing standards of intellectual 
mensuration. The results of this indifference are: 
the withdrawal of large numbers of children of the 
so-called better classes from the common school, 
and a growing tendency to put it into the cate- 
gory of eleemosynary institutions. We hear much 

446 Talks on Pedagogics. 

adverse criticism in regard to private sectarian 
schools, while little or nothing is said about the 
still greater number of children isolated from the 
masses in education by rich parents. The reason 
for withdrawing children from the common schools 
is that they are not good enough: this reason 
Indifference of the seems valid. It would be so indeed if the sole 
people. cause of the defects in the common schools was 

not the indifference of the very people who want 
better schools than the public affords. 

Further, whatever duties the body politic neg- 
lects become the prey and spoil of the pot-honse 
politician. Many of the common schools in this 
republic are managed and controlled by a class 
of spoilmongers who do not have the faintest idea 
of education, who indeed do not care what becomes 
of the schools if their patronage is not touched. 
Their prey is the innocent little ones; they strike 
at the very heart of the republic. 
Business methods. If any business in the world, any railroad, bank, 
store, or manufactory, were conducted upon the 
same principles (?) that obtain in the management 
of schools in most of our large cities and in many 
small districts, hopeless bankruptcy would be the 
Superintendents, inevitable result. Superintendents are too seldom 
chosen for professional skill or executive ability, 
and when they are, the school boards take away from 
them every vital influence that would make them 
efficient managers. The vast majority of teachers 
have not the slightest professional training or the 
Experts required faintest idea of the science of education; thus 
th^ worw^cept^ *^l"^^^^^^y cram is the rule, and" quality teaching 
teaching. the exception. Every other business in the world 

requires exj)erts but the care of immortal souls ! ! 
The great-hearted city of Chicago pours out six 

Democracy ami Education. 447 

millions of dollars yearly for its schools; but there Chicago gives 
is little or no question of whether the money shall $6,000,000 yearly 
be spent for salvation or patronage, for one per ^^^^ "° ^' 
cent dividend or a thousand. Let teachers move 
in the direction of the divine art of teaching, and 
a commanding halt is heard from authority. Let j^jj^^.^ ^ ^^_ 
experts examine the cramming methods that form tity teaching:, 
the bulk of most school-work and condemn them, 
the result is a prolonged howl of indignation from 
the school-boards, public teachers, and often from 
school periodicals. The rule is that the great- 
est popular satisfaction is evinced for the poorest 
school system. 

Whether from design or not, the indifference of indifference of the 
the people, the patronage of politicians, the weak- p^<>p^^ t°ward the 

X. • • ^ , 1 • «. • \, 1 fundamental 

ness or supervision, and the mernciency 01 teachers, cause of the de- 
furnish the best possible means of degrading the ^^ctsin the public 
common school, j)utting it upon a charity basis, 
weaning intelligent people from all active interest 
and sympathy, and leading to the downfall of the 
most precious institution which v\^as ever estab- 
lished by a free people. 

I have not overdrawn the indictment. There Trained teachers, 
are beautiful streaks of light everywhere amid the 
general darkness of unprofessional teaching, prov- 
ing beyond all doubt that the people can make 
every common school a perfect means of develop- 
ing true manhood and womanhoDd. An effective 
school means an educated, cultured, trained, de- 
voted teacher. To-day in most communities there 
is very little discrimination between an excellent 
teacher and a poor one; too often the latter has 
a marked advantage. There is not a coin small a poor teacher, 
enough, ever stamped by the hand of man, to pay 
the salary of a pfor teacher; there is not gold 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

Value of a good 

ventlon is wortli 
a ton of core. 

enoiigli in the mines of the world to measure the 
value of a teacher who lifts the souls of children 
to the true dignity of life and living. Put such 
teachers in the slums of our great cities, supply 
them with every necessary means, and we would 
An ounce of pre- soon find that "an ounce of prevention is worth 
a ton of cure." The right teachiug, the possible 
teaching, would diminish the attendance upon 
bridewells, prisons, reformatories, almshouses, lu- 
natic asylums; would lessen the number of voters 
that can be bought and take away the following 
of corrupt politicians; would insure the perpetuity 
of the republic, the hope of humanity. What 
stands in the way ? The indifference, the lethargy, 
the lack of active interest, on the imrt of the good, 
nolle men and ivonien. 

Nothing will reach the hearts of fathers and 
mothers like the prospect of better things for their 
precious little children; yet many a mother, who 
would die for the sum of her earthly treasures, — 
her little ones, — never gives a thought to the pos- 
sibilities of an exalted life for children by means 
of better education. 

■ The time has come, the hour is here, when the 
loving sympathy that so richly abounds for 
charity, for the saving of beings who are lost from 
neg-lect, must be turned upon the infinite possi- 
bilities of child nurture and growth. 

I have argued that the inefficiency of our com- 
mon schools is owing to the traditional inethods 
that have been the effective means of keeping the 
masses in subjection through the long ages of 
human history. God has made America the 
schoolhouse of the world — nay, its hospital: to 
pur land have come a vast multitude, marred and 

Little thought 
given to the 
science of educa 

America for the 
wjiole world. 

Democracy ami Education. 449 

scarred by the selfishness of the few; here they 
bring the wounds of tyranny. They have come to 
be healed : let them come. But we who are im- 
bued with the genius of freedom, we who have 
fought under Old Glory, must heal these wounds, 
must quicken stagnant blood, and revive despair- 
ing hearts by a breath of sweet liberty. We 7nust 
do it, I say, else our republic dies, and with it the 
hopes of freedom for centuries. 

Let us welcome all religions; let us freely ac- Perfect toiera- 
cord to all believers the right to worship God as *^°^' 
they please, and, disbelievers, to deny His exist- 
ence ; but we dare not, must not, allow the meth- 
ods of aristocracy to ruin all we hold dear. 

" AYho possesses the youth, possesses the future," '< who possesses 

sounds in our ears. Who should possess the youth ? *^^ y*"^*^ p°^" 

. sesses the 

Not the aristocracy, with its long record in human future." 

subjection and slavery. No party, no creed, should 
possess the future. The truth, and the truth alone, 
should possess the youth: "the truth that shall 
make" His children "free;" the truth of the eter- 
nal, loving God and Father of us all. Who possesses 
the truth in its richness and fulness ? None in the 
past. Who have applied it ? Let prisons, dun- 
geons, torture, poverty, woe, misery, and the outer 
darkness of ignorance answer. We may hold a pure ^^lo^&ii ^"r all. 
religion, we may respect each other's opinions, we 
may have the perfect tolerance of universal love, 
but while we know that the path of progress has 
been strewn with the wrecks of theories, we dare 
not fetter the souls of children with a fixed and 
implicit belief in any theory. We must believe 
that there is truth enough and power enough and 
love enough to carry the bread of life to every 
hungry and needy soul. The methods of aristoc- 

45 o Talks on Pedagogics. 

racy have not done this, and cannot do it; but the 
perfect love born into the world upon the hills of 
Palestine, when applied, can do it, — the love that is 
filled with the sweet gospel of the Fatherhood of 
God and the brotherhood of man. 
Respect for per- The spirit of democracy respects all rights of 
sonaingits. parents as sacred, except the right to deprive a 
child of a good education ; it never comj^els a parent 
to send a child to the common school; it might in 
the interests of self-preservation, but it does not. 
Every parent should be left perfectly free in the 
choice of a school for his children. 

Attractive is far more powerful than compulsory 
than comptasory education. The common school can be made the 
education. -j^gg^. gdjool, in every respect, in the world. Every- 

thing is ready to this end, except one thing, and 
that is the introduction of scientific teaching. The 
organization is ready, the buildings have been 
erected, the money is paid : that which awaits is 
the method of democracy, — that education which 
shall set the souls of children free. 

It is no dream or illusory vision, the -realization 
of a common school, perfect in its ai^pointments, 
with the means for the highest and best education 
at hand. All is ready when the people are ready 
to move, to demand that the methods of quantity 
shall go, and the methods of quality shall come. 
Unrealized possibilities of human growth are the 
infinite line of march. 

„^ ^ A school should be a model home, a complete 

What every com- . . ' i^ '^ ^ 

mon school should community and embryonic democracy. How ? you 
*^' ask. Again I answer, by putting into every school- 

room an educated, cultured, trained, devoted, child- 
loving teacher, a teacher imbued with a knowledge 
of the science of education, and a zealous, enthusi- 

Democracy and Education. 451 

astic applicant of its principles. Where shall Ave 

find such teachers ? They will spring from the 

earth and drop from the clouds when they hear the 

demand. We have asked for quantity teachers, and 

they have come by the tens of thousands. Now, 

let us demand the artist teacher, the teacher where shall we 

trained and skilled in the science of education — find good 

a genuine leader of little feet. 

Nothing that is good is too good for the child; 
no thought too deep; no toil too great; no work 
too arduous: for the welfare of the child means 
happier homes, better society, a pure ballot and the 
perpetuity of republican institutions. Not only 
must the people demand the artist teacher with an 
authority which will admit no denial, they must 
also demand that the methods of aristocracy, which 
have degraded and debased mankind, be totally 
eliminated from the training of citizens; instead, 
let us have a doctrine of education which means 
freedom to every child. I commend to your care- 
ful study the theory of Concentration, a theory 
that makes personal liberty the path to universal 

I have said these words "with malice toward 
none, and charity for all." Fighting for four years, 
as best I could, for the preservation of the demo- 
cratic ideal, a teacher of little children for nearly 
forty years, I believe four things, as I believe in Conclnsjon 

God — that democracy is the one hope of the world ; 
that democracy without efficient common schools is 
impossible; that every school in the land should be 
made a home and a heaven for children ; fourth, 
that when the ideal of the public school is realized, 
" the blood shed by the blessed martyrs for freedom 
will not have been shed in vain." 


The Theory of Concentration as presented in those pages is a working 
hypothesis of a doctrine of education : a hypothesis to be proved or dis- 
proved, in part, or as a whole. 

The following questions and suggestions are for the purpose of assisting 
students in their scientific investigation of the theory. Many of the ques- 
tions are not answered in this book ; they are questions, however, which 
bear directly upon the principles enunciated. Students are requested to 
understand thoroughly each statement, and then show it to be true or not 

Chapter I, — The Child. 

1. What books upon Child Study have you read? 

2. Have you ever closely observed a child during the first three years 
of its life ? 

3. What is it to know a child ? 

4. Why is the child the " central problem of the universe " ? 

5. Is it true that " the child is born deaf, dumb, and blind" ? 

6. Define, psychologically, " I see," " I hear," " T touch." 

7. If a child is born totally blind, can he ever have i)ercepts or ideas of 
color ? 

8. Explain. "No simple energy (elementary idea) can ever enter the 
child's body without first touching the end organs." 

9. Does light touch the eye, and sound the ear ? 

10. What is the function of the brain ? 

11. Can there be any act of consciousness without a corresponding 
physical act of the brain ? Discuss. 

12. Can idiocy be explained as weakness of the brain ? 

13. Test the truth of the statement : The physical organism determines 
the limit of personal development. 

14. What is meant by elementary ideas ? 

{Sec "Sensations," "Percepts " " External Stimuli.") 

15. Explain the external energies of color and sound. 
{Units of elementary ideas are individual concepts.) 

16. What are spontaneous activities ? 

17. What is instinct ? Intuition ? 


454 Talks on Pedagogics. 

18. What effect lias music ui)on a cliild ? 

19. What is rhythm ? Music^ 

20. What is the music of nature ? 

21. Why are a child's individual concepts obscure ? 

22. What is fancy to the child ? 

Hecall carefully the fancifs of your childhood. 

23. Did you love stories? Do you remember the stories told in your 
childhood ? VS'hat effect had they upon you ? 

24. What kind of stories did you hear"? 

25. What is the educational value of myths ? 

26. What relation have' myths to human evolution ? 

27. In what sense are myths true ? 

A myth may be true to a child ichile a percept may he a lie to Jiim. 

28. What relation has myth to history ? To science ? To religion ? 

29. What is Santa Claus'to the child? 

30. How docs myth change to reality ? 

31. What are the child's first lessons in civics? In history? 

32. What are the kindergarten and school to the child in the study of 
civics and history ? 

33 Give your own experiences of early life. 

34. What teachers did you like best? How did they govern ? 

35. Is it true that every child is born a naturalist ? 

36. Give your own experiences with animals, when a child. 

37. What animals did you like ? 

38. What animals did yon fear ? Why ? 

39. What pets did you have ? 

40. How many animals did you know ? ' 

41. What did you know about the habits of animals ? 

42. Name the plants and trees that you knew in early childhcod. 

43. Did you ever plant seeds ? 

44. What were your favorite flowers? 

45. What did you learn about the sun ? 

46. Could you foretell a storm ? 

47. What did you know about soils, stones, and rocks ? 

48. Recall the plays in running water. 

49. Describe' carefully the surface of the earth around your early home. 

50. Make a sketch of it. 

51. Is it true that every child begins spontaneously the study of geog- 
raphy, geology, mineralogy, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, anthro- 
pology, and history ? Did you ever begin these subjects, one and all ? 
How did you begin them ? What effect had these early studies upon your 
education ? 

53. Did you ever watch a child who was learning to walk ? Describe 
the process. 

53. Give your observations, if any, of a baby's learning to talk. 

54. What is the law of the mind by which a child learns an oral word ? 

55. What is the true meaning of " natural method " ? 

56. Is it possible for a child to learn to write by the same method by 
which it has learned to talk ? 

57. How does a child study form ? 

58. What spontaneous preparation does a child make for the study of 
number ? 

Tbeoiy of Concentration : Qtiestions and Suggestions. 455 

59. How does a child manifest a perfect unity of tliouglit and expressive 
action ? 

60. " There never was such a thing as a lazy child born on earth." 

61. When is a child still ? 

62. How does a child begin manual training ? 

63. What did you like to do when a child ? Did you play in the sand ? 
Build houses ? Make cakes of sand ? Construct mill-dams and mill- 
wheels ? Dress dolls ? What else did you do ? 

64. State the main points in this chapter. 

65. The tendencies of the being are manifested by the spontaneous 
activities, and these tendencies point the way to the means and method of 
all after education. Discuss. 

Chapter IL — Central Subjects of Study. 

1. Give all the definitions of education that you know. What defini- 
tion do you prefer ? Why ? 

2. VVn^at is meant by the " economy of energy " ? 

3. Discu.''^ • " '^^^ fiiudameutal law of education is self -activity." 

4. Give tii^ the definitions of teaching that you know. Which do you 
prefer '? Why ? 

5. What is the difference between teacJdng and educating f 

6. How is energy wasted in education ? 

7. What is the greatest economy of energy in education ? 

8. Give your own experience in wasting self-effort ? What studies 
have done you the most good ? What kind of teaching has helped you the 
most ? 

9. What is the hypothesis of Unity of Subjects? 

10. Discuss : All study is study of creation ; creation is going on now. 

11. What is the intrinsic action of the mind ? 

12. Give all the definitions of geography that you know. What defini- 
tions include other subjects ? What definition excludes all other subjects? 

13. What are the relations of geogi-aphy to geology? 

Geography is the result of geology ; geography is a phase of geol- 
ogy ; geology is the history of the changes of which geography is the re- 
sult. Discuss. 

14. Define geology. What are the relations of geology to geography ? 

15. Can one subject be studied without the other ? With which subject 
should a pupil begin ? Why ? 

16. Geology is causal nexus of geography. Explain Prof. Chamberlain's 
beautiful statement : " Do you know the indications of 'babyhood,' 'ado- 
lescence,' 'maturity,' 'old age,' 'decay'? In which state is the surface 
which surrounds you ? " 

17. Can you read the history of a characteristic surface ? Why not ? 

18. What means have you tiear at hand of studying geology and geog- 
raphy ? 

19. "The fundamental product of geography is an individual concept 
of the earth's surface, or any part of it." Explain. 

20. How are such products acquired ? 

21. What is the place of observation in the study of geography? Of 

45^ Talks on Pedagogics. 

imagination? By 'it me- observation developed? Imagination? 

What is the chief use of books in studying geography ? Of maps ? 

22. Is the real study of geology and geography always interesting? 

23. Give all the relations of geology and geography that you can think 

24. Define mineralogy. What relations has mineralogy to geography 
and geology ? What opportunities have you for the study of mineralogy? 

25. Give in detail a method of teaching geography, geology, and miner- 
alogy. Adapt the method to the grades. Describe the materials to be used, 
and where they may be obtained. Describe an ideal text- book upon these 
subjects ? 

_ 26. Everything changes ; mind and matter : nothing remains identical 
with itself for two consecutive moments of time. Prove or disprove the 
latter statement. 

27. All study is'Sfie study of changes in mind and inatter. Changes in 
matter are results of energy acting through it. All changes are caused by 
the action of immutable laws. All study is the study of laws acting in 
mind, and acting through matter. Are" these statements true ? Why ? 
Why not ? 

28. What relations have physics and chemistry to mineralogy „^ology, 
and geography ? '^•'' ^^ 

29. What is the difEerence between chemistry and physics ? 

30. What is heat? Describe the effects of heat upon the crust of the 
earth . 

31. What relation has water to the earth ? Name all the forms of 
water. How are the different forms of water produced ? 

32. What is meteorology? What relation has meteorology to geogra- 
phy ? To geology ? To mineralogy ? What is the educational value of 
meteorology ? 

33. What relation has tte distribution of sunshine to mathematical 
geography ? 

34. Give all the relations of the sciences of inorganic matter that you 
can think of. 

35. Which branch can be profitably studied alone ? Which branch can 
be profitably studied without studying all the others ? 

36. Explain : Geography and the other sciences of inorganic matter 
form the physical basis of life. What is the closest relation of inorganic 
matter and living organisms ? 

37. What is the general name of the energy which transforms inorganic 
matter to organic matter ? 

38. The study of living organisms consists in the study of the changes 
of dead matter to living. If immutable laws did not absolutely control all 
such changes, could there be any such thing as a study of life? 

39. Upon what does every plant depend for its life and growth ? What 
constituents enter into every plant ? 

40. What is the relation of plants to mineralogy, geology, geography, 
and meteorology? Can a knowledge of pumt lile be acquired without a 
knowledge of inorganic materials which nourish and support life? 

41. What can you say of the dependence of animal life upon vegetation? 

42. What relation has the evolution of plant life to geology ? What is 
paleontology ? 

Theory of Concentration : Qiiestions and Suggestions. 457 

43. How does climate affect animals 1 What determines animal cover- 

44. What laws govern the distribution of plants over the earth's sur- 
face ? Animals ? 

45. What are the relations of geography to zoology ? 

46. What facts can you give in regard to the adaptation of animals to 
their environment? 

47. What is the zoology of man? 

48. What is the difference between botany and zoology as studies ? Be- 
tween zoology and anthropology ? 

49. What are the relations of zoology to anthropology ? Anthrojjology 
to botany? What sciences include them ? 

50. State all the facts that you can think of in the relations of environ- 
ment to the evolution of man regarding mountains ; grassy plains ; deserts ; 
forests ; climate ; rivers ; seas ; Greece ; Egypt ; Palestine ; Great Britain ; 
Scandinavia ; India ; China ; United States ; Africa. 

51. What is the effect of assemblies of plants upon individual plants? 
Give the names of communities of animals. How is the individual animal 
modified by the mass ? 

52. Define ethnology. Wbat is the difference between anthropology and 
ethnology ? What are the principal means of studying ethnology ? 

53. \Vhat are the relations of geography to ethnology ? Meteorology? 
Geology? Mineralogy? Botany? Zoology? 

54. What are the geographical conditions for the tribal form of govern- 
ment ? 

55. Define history. What is the difference between history and eth- 
nology ? 

56. What is the educative function of history ? 

57. What are the difficulties in the way of getting the truth from 
human records? 

58. Geography is the science of the home of man. What are the effects 
of the earth's surface upon the development of the human race ? Explain 
the polytheism and democracy of Greece. The monotheism and monarchy 
of Egypt. Why was Palestine adapted to the development of a nation 
powerful in education and religion ? 

59. Sliow that the same characteristic area of surface has entirely dif- 
ferent effects upon the different stages of savagery, barbarism, and civiliza- 
tion. What was the Valley of the Mississippi to savages? What to a 
civilized people ? 

60. Contrast the effects of climate upon the civilizations of Scandinavia 
and India. 

61. What relation has vegetation to history ? Animal life? Illustrate, 

62. What relation has the recollection of historical events to a knowl- 
edge of geography ? Is there any necessity for mnemonics ? Plave you a 
clear concept of the countries whose history you study. 

63. All known space is filled with matter : objects and bodies of matter 
are unthinkable without first conceiving their forms. What is form? 

64. All our judgment of an object depends upon its corresponding con- 
cept in consciousness. Form is the fundamental mode of judgment. Dis- 

65. How was a knowledge of sound and color discovered ? 

45^ Talks on Pedagogics. 

Chapter III. — Form as a Mode of Judgment. 

1. Define an object. 

2. All space is filled with matter ; all space is filled with objects ; what 
is the difference between the two statements ? 

3. Is it true that an oral word, a wave of ether, or a vibration of elee- 
tricit.y, is an object ? Why ? Why not ? 

4. Upon what mental product does all our judgment or knowledge of 
external objects depend ? 

5. Define an individual concept. Particular notion. Perception. What 
relation has an individual concept to an object that causes its appearance in 
consciousness ? 

6. Discuss: "Conscious activities are non-spacial." 

7. The principal motive of all experiment, investigation, and study is to 
acquire a knowledge of energy which acts through matter. Is it true that 
an object acts upon consciousness ? Does the mind act upon an object ? 
Does an object act upon the mind? 

8. Man knows less of matter than of energy ; is this statement true ? 
Why? Why not? 

9. Define an adequate individual concept. What proof have you that 
your individual concepts are imperfect ? Is it true that a child never has 
complex concepts, that is, has concepts that are alwa^ys very simple? 

10. What relation have individual concepts to knowledge of the exter- 
nal world ? 

11. How are individual concepts enhanced, — made to approximate ade- 
quacy ? Is it true that no object remains identical with itself during any 
two successive moments of time ? (iive illustrations of changes in organic 
matter. All study is a study of change. 

12. Discuss: "Matter does not change itself; there is no energy in- 
herent in matter. " What is materialism ? 

13. Discuss : " The qualities of an object through which energy acts de- 
termine the action of the energy, or the law of the energy." What in- 
fluence has energy upon matter ? 

14. Discuss: " Qualities of matter differentiate energy." Can an object 
be changed in any way without changing its form ? 

15. Discuss : " Form is the supreme manifestation of energy." U])on 
what sense products do judgments of f oriu dejiend ? Can intrinsic knowl- 
edge of form be enhanced by any sense except that of touch? Is the 
greatest function of the sense of sight the representation of the products of 
the tactual sense ? 

16. Discuss : " The continued action of the sense of sight in observation 
cannot intrinsically enhance percepts of form." 

17. Is it true that all the senses are in reality senses of touch ? Ex- 

18. Tell what you know about Laura Bridgman and Helen Keller. 

19. Discuss: " Touch is the great intellectual sense." 

20. Define an elementary idea. What is the relation of an elementary 
idea to an external attribute? What relation has an attribute to an object? 
What relation has an elementary idea to an individual concept ? 

21. Discuss the following statements : 

{a) ' ' Upon an elementary idea depends all knowledge of its correspond- 
ing external attribute." 

Theory of Concentration : Qiiestions and Suggestions. 459 

{b) " U])on an individual concept depends all knowledge of its corre- 
sponding object." 

(c) "All knowledge of tlie nniverse depends fundamentally upon indi- 
vidual concepts." 

23. Define observation. What relation have the products of observation 
to the products of imagination ? Explain the difference between observa- 
tion and imagination. Is it possible to form distinct concepts by imagina- 
tion unless distinct concepts have been previously formed by observation ? 
Is it true that education depends fundamentally upon distinct or approxi- 
mately adequate individual concepts ? Why ? Why not ? 

23. What relation has the study of form to the study of causation ? 

24. What is the function of geometry ? 

25. What relation has the study of geometry to geography, geology, and 
mineralogy ? 

2G. Give illustrations of how geometry may be used in the study of 
mathematical geography. 

27. Give illustrations of the opportunities to teach form and geometry 
in the study of geography. 

28. Can you form clear pictures of surface forms ? — for instance, of river 
basins or continents? Why? Why not? When you think of North 
America, do you think of a flat map, or of the real surface? 

29. Give illustrations of the opportunities to study form and geometry 
in geology and mineralogy. Which should we study first, natural forms or 
typical forms ? Why ? When should the study of form be introduced into 
school ? When, the study of geometry ? What is the effect of the study of 
geometry upon mind development ? Which study is of the greater im- 
portance — geometry or arithmetic ? Why ? 

Chapter IV. — Number and its Relations to the Cen- 
tral Subjects. 

1. What do }ou know of the history of methods in arithmetic ? 

2. Who was Warren Colburn, and what did he do for the teaching of 
arithmetic ? 

3. Give all the definitions of arithmetic that you can think of. Which 
is the best ? 

4. What is the practical use of arithmetic ? 

5. Is it true that no work has ever been or can be done without 
measuring ? Name some step in progress that has been taken without the 
use of arithmetic ? How does the carpenter, the cabinet-maker, the ma- 
chinist, the blacksmith, or the shoemaker use arithmetic? Name some 
discovery, invention, step in progress, made without the use of arithmetic ? 

6. Discuss : "Number is the product of mind, and does not exist out- 
side of mind." 

7. Give all the uses of number in practical life that you can think of. 

8. How does the child begin instinctively its preliminary studies in 
number ? 

9. What is the value of a true definition in number ? 

10. What is size ? What relation has size to form ? What definitions 
can you give of size and form ? What is a knowledge of size without a 
knowledge of form ? 

460 Talks on Pedagogics. 

11. Wliat does a knowledge of size involve ? How is a knowledge of 
size acquired ? When and Low does a child begin to learn size ? 

12. How is a knowledge of distance acquired? Of area? Of volume ? 

13. What have inexact judgments of length, breadth, and thickness to 
do with exact j udgments ? 

14. Of what value is a knowledge of form without a knowledge of size ? 

15. Apply arithmetic to the study of geography. 

16. What is the use of arithmetic in imagining distances and areas? 

17. Make a large number of problems that are absolutely necessary for 
the imagination of areas. 

(a) Measure all the continents by one continent. 

(&) Give the differences in areas of continents. 

((•) In what proportion is the area of Australia to the area of all the 
other continents ? 

{d) What proportion of coast-line is there to the area (square miles) in 
each continent ? 

{e) What relation has the civilization of a continent to its coast-line? 

( /) Give the differences in lengths of the continents. Which is the 
longest ? Which the shortest ? 

[g] Give the differences in breadths of the continents. Which is the 
broadest ? Which the narrowest ? 

(/<) What is the proportion of land to water? 

(ij What is the proportion of plain to highland ? 

(_;■) Compare the areas of all the large river-basins with each other. 

(k) Compare lengths of slopes. 

{I) How many areas of the size of Australia are there in Eurasia ? 

(m) How many square miles of desert laud are there in the world? 

(«) How many square miles of grassy plain are there ? 

{0) What is the proportion of desert land to grassy plain ? To forest 

18. The relation of area to population : How many square miles are 
therein Siberia? What is the population of Siberia? Find the number 
of inhabitants to a square mile. What inferences can you make? 

19. Measure political divisions, one with another. 

(«) Which is the largest political division in the world? Which the 
smallest ? 

Q)) HoAv many square miles are there in the empire of Great Britain ? 

(c) How many square miles of the earth's surface are under a tribal 
form of government ? 

{d) How jnany square miles are under absolute monarchy? 

(e) Limited monarchy ? 

(/) How many square miles republics ? Which is the largest republic 
in the world, in square miles ? Which the smallest ? 

(g) How many square miles are inhabited by Christians? 

(A) How many by Mahommedans ? 

{(,) How many square miles are inhabited by so-called Pagans? 

(j) How many square miles inhabited by Indians? 

(k) By black people ? 

{I) By Caucasians? 

20. Malce a number of examples measuring one political division by an- 
other, taking the United States and your own state for standards of meas- 

Theory of Concentration : Qiiestions and Suggestions. 461 

(rt) Whicli is tlie largest state in tlie United States? WMch. the 
smallest ? 

ip) How many states tlie size of Illinois could be made out of the area of 
the United States ? 

(c) How many the size of Rhode island ? 

{d) Compare the areas of states by square miles with the number of 
population. Give reasons. 

21. Make a large number of arithmetical problems in mathematical 

22. Is it true that learning the subject of geography really requires 
more arithmetical problems than can be found in any text-book on arith- 
metic ? 

23. Should the numbers and processes of numbers be learned first, or 
should they be learned in their application in the study of the subject of 
geography ? 

24. What are the uses of an exact knowledge of weight ? IIow does a 
child begin to study weight ? How is density measured ? Is weight 
measuring force or matter ? How is force measured ? How does the child 
begin to measure force '? 

25. What arithmetical problems can be made in the study of science ? 
Make a number of problems necessary for a knowledge of physics. Of 
botany. Of geology. How much arithmetic is necessary for the study of 
history ? How does a child begin to study the limitations of time ? What 
relation have limitations of time to history? To force ? Are all the gen- 
eral directions of the study of arithmetic comprised in lines, areas, volume, 
bullc, force, time, and single things ? Can all these subjects be acquired by 
practical application in the study of the central subjects ? Or is it neces- 
sary to know number before practical applications ? What is the educa- 
tional value of the study of money equivalents ? Is it educative and eco- 
nomical to teach children much of the detail of commerce ? 

26. Discuss : " In the acquisition of arithmetical knowledge the child 
may feel in every act of numbering that the act is an absolute necessity." 
What is the difference between the mental energy evolved in the child's 
learning number without application, and learning it with its direct appli- 
cation ? 

27. What relation has arithmetic to manual training ? 

28. Should the numbering judgment be exercised at every step in learn- 
ing arithmetic ? 

29. How much drill is necessary in arithmetic ? Is the following state- 
ment true : The more thoroughly the numbers are applied to the learning 
of central subjects, the less the drill necessary ? Which is the most eco- 
nomical and effective drill — drill in the direct and useful application of 
numbers, or drill in pure numbers ? 

30. All the tables in arithmetic we learn by practical application. 
Please estimate, each of you, the time you spent in the study of arithmetic 
during your eight years' course in the primary and grammar schools. 
How many spent one third of your time in arithmetic ? In your course in 
arithmetic what was the proportion of time given to drill and practical ap- 
plication of numbers ? 

31. Is it possible to use the numbering mode of judgment in the study 
of all the central subjects so effectively as not to take any appreciable time 
in the study of number as an isolated subject ? Can language, including 

462 Talks on Pedagogics. 

spelling, penmansliip, and grammar, be acquired under tlie impulses of in- 
trinsic tli(jught ? Is the same true of arithmetic ? 

Chapter V. — What Can be Done with Numbers? 

1. Is it possible for you to lay aside all preconceived notions of numbers 
and make a new study of the subject V Is it possible to completely illus- 
trate with objects every fact in number ? Why not ? 

2. In what sense are all numbers abstract ? What is the diiference be- 
tween an applied and a pure number ? Can you think of a number with- 
out thinking- of a number of things ? What is an abstract number '? 

3. Discuss carefully: "All that can be done with any number is to 
divide it." Illustrate. 

4. Why is it not psychologically proper to say we separate numbers ? 
Do we separate numbers in consciousness ? What is the practical use of 
the word ' ' group " in arithmetic ? 

5. Divide twelve objects into a number of equal numbers. How many 
equal numbers have you ? W^rite the ai'ithmetical sentence that expresses 
what you have done ? 

6. Study carefully statements made in regard to division. Are the 
arithmetical sentences given correct ? 

7. Is it right to say that 13 -i- 3 = 4 3's ? Is the quotient 4 any more 
abstract than the dividend or the divisor ? Determined how a child would 
find the 3's in 12. What must he do ? Illustrate. Divide twelve into 
three equal parts. Show how a child would perform this operation. Com- 
pare carefully the two operations, finding the 3's in 12, and finding | of 12. 
What is your motive in finding the 3's in 13 ? Give a number of practical 
examples. What is your motive in finding ^ of 12 '? Give a number of 
practical examples. Illustrate. 

8. In division, what is the dividend? What the divisor? What the 
quotient ? Illustrate. 

9. In partition, what is the dividend ? What the divisor ? What 
the quotient ? Illustrate. Are the two operations substantially difi'erent? 
How much of the study of arithmetic consists of problems in these two 
operations ? Divide a number into two numbers : what must you know in 
order to divide a number into two numbers ? What do you find? Illus- 

10. Criticise carefully the statements in regard to division on p. 84. 

11. Discuss : " All that can be done with a number of numbers is to 
unite them." 

12. What is the difference between the operations of uniting equal num- 
bers and uniting numbers that are unequal ? 

13. Criticise with great care the definitions of the five operations given 
on pp. 84, 85. Are these operations distinct, each from the other ? 

14. Discuss carefully the disicussion of the definition of division. Show 
by objects any mistake made in the discussion. 

15. Does 3 4's mean the same thing as 3 ttmes 4? If 3 4's mean some- 
thing different from 3 times 4, what is the difference ? If 3 times 4 is 
identical in meaning with 3 4's, which sentence is the better ? 

16. Is the statement that there are 4 3's in 12 written this way, 13 -=- 4 = 
3 ? If it is not written in this way, how is it written ? 

Theory of Concentration : Qiiestions and Suggestions. 463 

17. Illustrate with objects the ten arithmetical sentences on p. 86. 

18. Can all arithmetical sentences be completely and exactly illustrated 
with objects ? Illustrate with objects the ninth and tenth sentences. Illus- 
trate with objects the difference between partition and division. If parti- 
tion differs from division, should both operations be expressed by one form 
of sentence ? 

19. Discuss carefully the subject of partition. Illustrate every step 
with objects. 

20. Is the operation expressed by J of 12 = 4 the same in kind as the 
one expressed by |- of | = ^ ? 

21. Discuss and illustrate all the definitions given. 

22. If partition and division are identical operations, how would you 
teach the sentences, ^ of 12 = 4, and 12-^3 = 4? 

23. Is there any necessity for the use of one sentence which states two 
different arithmetical facts ? 

24. Did you ever try to teach division to little children ? What was the 

25. How is number learned by attention ? What should a child observe 
in learning number? 

26. Criticise the statement : All recitations of tables and the ordinary 
operations with figures in arithmetic are processes of recollection, and do 
not require in themselves immediate acts of judgment. 

27. How is a knowledge of number developed in a child ? Is there an 
absolutely pedagogical sequence in learning number ? 

28. Criticise the statement : Whenever and wherever operations in 
number will assist children in the study of central subjects, they should be 
used. For instance, if the child needs twenty or one hundred in the first 
primary grade, these numbers should be freely used. 

29. Should the fundamental facts of numbers be sunk into the auto- 
matic ? 

30. Discuss the question : "How should automatic knowledge of num- 
bers be acquired ? " 

31. Is it possible to gain a knowledge of numbers by the mere use of 
figures in mechanical operations ? 

32. Discuss: "The present arrangement of subjects in arithmetics in' 
common use is pedagogically wrong." 

{a) Which is the easier subject to teach — multiplication or addition ? 

(5) Should multiplication be taught without teaching division and parti- 
tion at the same time ? 

(c) Should addition be taught without subtraction ? 

{d) Should the five oi^erations be taught by practical application ? 

(e) Should fractious, both common and decimal, be taught with the five 
operations ? 

(/) When should percentage and interest be taught? Why? 

(g) When should denominate numbers be taught ? 

(h) When should the squares and cubes of numbers be taught ? 

(i) When should square and cube roots be taught ? 

(j) What is the difficulty in teaching fractions? 

{k) What is the essential difference between teaching fractions and 
whole numbers ? 

464 Talks on Pedagogics. 

33. By wliat directions sliould we be guided iu tlie development of arith- 
metic ? 

34. Discuss : A very practical knowledge of arithmetic may be acquired 
in eight years by applying numbers at every step to tlie necessities of 
thought in the study of the central subjects. Number is an absolute neces- 
sity in all experiments, investigations, and study. Which is the more 
economical — to teach numbers first as preliminary to the study of practical 
subjects, or to teach numbers in direct relation to practical subjects ? 

Chapter VI. — Attention. 

1. Define attention. 

2. What are external attributes ? 

3. Is an external attribute energy or matter ? 

4. Are heat, light, sound, color, and electricity forms of matter or modes 
of motion ? 

5. W^hat is the relation of an external energy or attribute to an ele- 
mentary idea ? 

6. What is the relation of matter to energy ? 

7. How is an elementary idea created in the mind ? 

8. Explain : An elementary idea corresponds to the external attribute 
which created it. 

9. Consider the hypothesis of evolution that nerve-tracts in the brain 
were created by the action of classes of external attributes. 

10. What is meant by specialized functions of the brain ? Can a person 
born blind have any ideas of color ? Why not ? 

11. Discuss the statement : The sensorium determines the number, kind, 
and nature of external energies which may act upon and through it. 

13. What may be said of any part of the brain or any nerve-tract which 
fails in its function ? 

13. Is it true that tliere are countless external attributes which have 
never acted upon the brain over nerve-tracts ? 

14. How many colors can you see ? How many colors (shades and 
tints) are there ? 

15. Discuss the statement : The child is born deaf, dumb, and blind. 

16. What are units of elementary ideas'? 

17. Upon what mental product do all analyses of external objects de- 
pend ? 

18. What is an individual concept ? 

19. In an act of attention, does the mind act upon an object ? If it 
acted upon an object, it would change it, would it not ? Does the object 
change the mind ? Does the object act upon the mind ? Does matter 
or energy act upon mind ? Does consciousness consist of pure energy ? 

20. If the mind does not act upon an object what does it do? 

21. Discuss the statement : All individual concepts are automatically 
and unconsciously synthetized. 

23. Discuss the statement : An object acts upon consciousness instan- 
taneously. Illustrate. 

23. What is the psychology of hearing ? Seeing ? Touching ? Tast- 

24. Are the acts of synthesis, association, recollection, remembrance, and 

Theory of Concentration : Qiiestions and Suggestions. 465 

imagination identical ? Do they mean one and the same kind of act ? Why 

25. Discuss : In acts of consciousness elementary ideas rise above the 
plane of consciousness. When an individual concept sinks below the plane 
of consciousness is it dissipated into its elements or does it remain as a 
whole stored up in the mind ? 

26. Discuss : In acts of nttention, the function of the being consists 
wholly in the attitude of the body and mind. 

27. Discuss : In acts of attention complete passiveness is the most eco- 
nomical activity. 

28. What mistakes have arisen from the supposition that the ego can 
directly synthetize ideas? 

29. Discuss the recapitulation on p. 114. 

30. What is an educative act ? What acts of consciousness are not edu- 

31. Discuss the difference between the spontaneous unconscious action 
of synthesis and the acts of the ego. 

32. What is the difference between what man does for himself and 
what is done for him ? 

33. Discuss : Self-activity or self-effort is the fundamental law of edu- 

34. Discuss the definition of attention on p. 116. 

35. What is the meaning of intense conscious action? Try experiments 
like those given on p. 117. 

36. Can there be any act of attention without intense conscious action ? 

37. What is interest in attention ? What is will ? Which acts of con- 
sciousness are generally more intense — those in which there is an absorbing 
interest, or those which are wholly controlled by the will? 

38. What are the three modes of attention ? 

39. Discuss : ' ' Each and every state of consciousness from the first 
action of consciousness to the last, in every human being, contains in itself 
every kind of possible conscious action." 

40. What is an act of inference ? What is the relation of inference to 
judgment? Define recognition; analysis; comparison; classification; 

41. Is it true that the acts of observation, hearing-language, and read- 
ing are identical in kind of mental action? 

42. Define observation. Can there be any act of observation without 
acts of judgment ? 

43. What are the two classes of objects which act upon the mind? 
What is the difference in action between a non-symbolic object and a sym- 
bolic object ? 

44. What are appropriate activities? What is the difference between 
appropriate activities and corresponding activities ? 

45. What is the function of a symbol ? Is it true that a word has but 
one function ? What is a pure symbol ? What is a partial symbol ? Il- 

46. Illustrate the effect of words upon consciousness. 

47. Are oral and written words objects? 

48. Discuss learning to hear language as a process of functioning words. 

49. Define hearing-language. Define reading. 

50. What is the difference between reading and a study of text ? 

466 Talks on Pedagogics. 

51. What is the educational function of the three modes of attention? 

52. What is tlie vise of an object in observation? 

53. What is the use of a symbol in hearing-language and reading ? 

54. Discuss : The less the observation of symbols the greater the 
thought power will be. 

55. Give the analysis of an act of attention. 

56. What is motive ? What precedes motive ? 

57. What is unity of action ? 

58. What is the physical attitude of attention? 

59. Is it true that every organ of the body, every muscle, and every 
nerve assist in economical acts of attention ? 

60. How can you tell when a pupil is attentive ? 

61. What are the marks of attention ? 

62. Why should there be the least possible attention to forms of words 
in hearing-language and reading ? 

63. How is absorption of mental power in forms of words sedulously 

64. What is the effect upon brain and body of acts of attention ? How 
long, approximately, can little children sustain acts of attention ? What 
is the effect of a demand for attention if the pupil's brain is tired ? 

65. What should limit demands for attention ? 

66. State the danger of trying to exhaust one subject before a child is 
able to take all the steps in understanding it. 

67. What is the effect of normal habits of attention upon the develop- 
ment of the body ? 

68. Discuss :* The body is an instrument for acts of attention and expres- 

69. Analyze unity of action. 

70. What should govern teachers in presenting conditions for acts of 
attention ? 

71. How can you create disgust for learning in the mmds of pupils ? 

72. What has pre-judgment to do with acts of attention? 

73. Define teaching. 

74. Deiine education. 

75. Is it true that all educative subjects are in themselves intensely in- 
teresting ? 

76. Is it possible to ever study any subject aright without loving it ? In 
other words, when one says he does not love a subject— geography, for in- 
stance^has he ever really studied it ? 

77. Discuss • Teaching is the presentation of right conditions for acts of 

Chapter VII. — Observatiok. 

1. Define psychology. 

2. Define pedagogics. 

3. What relation has psychology to pedagogics? 

4. What is observation ? 

5. Observe an object and give the result. 

6. What is an object? 

7 Wliat. is the correspondence to an object in the mind? 
8. Define an individual coiicept, 

Theory of Concentration : Qiiestions and Suggestions. 467 

9. What is an elementary idea ? 

10. Discuss the definitions given on p. 143. 

11. What is the function of a symbol ? 

12. What is the difference between a pure and a partial symbol ? 

13. Of what knowledge is an elementary idea the basis ? 

14. Of what knowledge is an individual concept the basis? 

15. Upon what does the analysis of an object depend ? 

16. Discuss : Our knowledge of the universe depends fundamentally 
upon the products of the senses. 

17. What is a crude individual concept ? 

18. By what experiments may you test your own concepts ? 

19. Are many of your concepts very inadequate ? 

20. If your concepts are inadequate, what do you judge the child's con- 
cepts to be ? 

21. Define an adequate concept. 

22. What is the difference between comparison and classification? What 
is the relation of comparison to classification? 

23. What is spontaneous or instinctive classification ? 

24. Is it true that we can have no adequate concept of any object ? 
Why ? Why not ? 

25. Is it true that there are countless external attributes that do not act 
upon the brain? Why not ? 

26. Is it true that the products of the senses are the fundamental limita- 
tions of knowledge ? 

27. What relation have discoveries and inventions to close observation ? 

28. Is it true that false and imperfect generalizations have been the 
result of imperfect observations ? 

29. How were the natures of sound and color discovered ? 

30. You know something about the historj' of modern discoveries in all 
the sciences : by what means has geology been revolutionized and geogra- 
phy radically changed within ten years? 

"31. Is it true that all modern progress has its foundation in close and 
careful observation ? 

32. What relation has sense-perception to education? 

33. The savage has abundant means for observation : discuss the ques- 
tion, Why is he not educated ? 

34. Is it true that the brain and sensorium determine the action of ex- 
ternal attributes ? Explain why a Bushman cannot see a picture. 

35. What has motive to do with intellectual action ? 

36. Are acuteness and sharpness in observation the true basis of educa- 
tion ? 

37. What would be the difference between the observations of a Thoreau 
and of a savage in walking through a forest ? 

38. What is the function of a symbol ? 

39. What is the use of the printed page in education ? 

40. What is the relation of observation to reading and the study of 
books ? 

41. Can reading ever be made a substitute for observation? 

42. Reading is the study of the thought of man ; observation is the 
study of the thought of God. Discuss. 

43. Discuss : The material universe is the manifestation of God to the 
human mind. 

468 Talks on Pedagogics. 

44. Is tlie study of nature in itself intrinsically moral ? Why? Why 
not ? Which study is in itself the more moral — science or history? Why ? 

45. Is it possible for a human being to love nature without loving God ? 

46. Discuss : Myth is the imperfect interpretation of the truth in 

47. Is myth an absolute necessity in human growth ? 

48. What enables man to interpret, understand, and criticise books ? 

49. Is all truth of God? 

50. What is the difEerence between the truths of science and the state- 
ments of history ? 

51. Is there any such thing as true history? 

52. What has prevented man from writing true history ? 

53. How should history be studied ? 

54. What is the basis of all judgment in regard to historical facts ? 

55. How does a child gain this basis of judgment ? 

56. When does a child begin practically to study civics ? 

57. History dogmatically taught cripples and dwarfs the mind. Is this 
Btatement true ? 

58. Is it true that one party can notstate the truth of another ; nor fol- 
lowers of one creed state the truth of' another creed, nor one nation give 
the truth regarding another nation ? 

59. Discuss : The products of one's own personal observation and ex- 
periences are the basis of judgment in the study of history. 

60. What can you say of the text-books in science ? 

61. Was the Hector of the Scottish University right in his statement? 

62. Tell something about progress in geography, geology, physics, and 
chemistry during the last few years. 

63. Should a child be taught that any generalizations found in text-books 
upon science are absolutely true ? 

64. What is meant by " suspended judgment " ? 

65. Discuss : Real consistency is everlasting change. 

66. Discuss : Education is the development of the attitude of the soul 
towards truth. 

67. Is dogiiiatic teaching ever pedagogical? 

68. What is the meaning of the sentence, "Except ye become as a 
little child " ? 

69. Is not observation the best means for cultivating a love of study of 
books and reading ? 

70. What are the relations of the products of observation to the under- 
standing of printed books ? 

71. Why have high schools, colleges, and universities introduced, witliin 
a few years, much laboratory work? 

72. Should a child study science throughout the entire eight years > f 
the primary and grammar grades ? Why ? Why not ? 

73. What has the past brought the child ? 

74. Has progress in civilization made any new laws of mental grow th or 
modified the law of self-effort ? 

75. How true is the statement that a child must go through the experi- 
ences of his race ? 

76. Discuss : All the past has brought us is a better knowledge of the 
human being and better conditions for self -effort. 

Theory of Concentration : Qttestions and Suggestions. 469 

77. Discuss : Education is the economizing of the energies of the human 

78. How much should a child discover for himself and how much 
should he be told? 

79. When should a child be told any fact or given a generalization? 

80. What is the pedagogical value of experiment and investigation in 
laboratory work ? 

81. What is imagination ? 

82. Of what elements are all creations of imagination composed? 

83. What is the relation between observation and imagination ? 

84. Can any one who observes imperfectly have a powerful imagina- 
tion ? Wby ? Why not ? 

80. Discuss : The fundamental acts of consciousness in observation and 
imagination are precisely the same. 

86. What is the educational value of imagination in (a) geography ; (6) 
history ; (c) science? 

87. What can you say of the observing jiowers of Humboldt, Agassiz, 
Darwin and Huxley? 

88. Is it true that the wonderful discoveries made by these men had 
their bases in their power of close observation ? 

89. Which is the better key to knowledge, reading or observation ? Dis- 

90. Discuss : Ordinary thinking, or ordinary acts of consciousness, are 
not educative. 

91. What is an educative act ? 

92. Define reading. 

93. Is it a scientifically correct statement that a person can have no 
other thought than his own ? 

94. Criticise the prevailing method of studying geography and science 
by text-books, 

95. What is the pedagogical value of committing to memory a defini- 
tion in geography or natural science? 

96. Can j^ou give any reasons why children are made to study pages in 
geography when surface-forms of the earth can be so easily observed? 

97. What is the relation of observation to literature ? 

98. What is literature ? 

99. What relation has literature to history ? To science ? 

100. If studies of nature were struck out of literature, what would we 
have left ? 

101. What has the study of nature to do with the understanding and 
appreciation of literature? 

102. Please make a summary of facts in regard to uses of close observa- 
tion to the human race during the past fifty years. 

103. Please state the pedagogical possibilities of observation in the 
study of {a) geography, (b) geology, (c) mineralogy, (d) botany, (e) zoology, 
(/) anthropology, (g) ethnology, (h) history. 

104. What means has every teacher at hand to train a child's power of 
observation ? What are the opportunities for observation in the country ? 
In the village ? In the large city ? What are the means to train observa- 
tion in the close streets of a large city, where there are few or no trees or 

• shrubs? 

47 o Talks on Pedagogics. 

105. Why is it tLat people generally are so much opposed to practical 
study of things that concern the essentials of life and living ? 

106. Please read the psalm on p. 171. What is the ' ' great transgression ? " 
How is "presumption of knowledge" sedulously cultivated? What is the 
psychological effect of presumption? Discuss: "Blessed are the poor in 
spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." 

107. Give a summary of all the uses of observation and its value in edu' 


1. What do you know of the history of the methods of teaching lan- 
guage ? 

2. Who were the humanists ? 

3. Who were the philanthropins ? 

4. Discuss : There can be no thought without language. 

5. How does the mind change tlie body? 

6. What is meant by bearing and attitude of the body ? 

7. What influence have acts of attention upon the whole body? 

8. Discuss : The mind is continually creating the body. 

9. Was language invented by man ? Give reasons. 

10. What are the relations of a language to the people who created it ? 

11. What is a dialect ? 

12. What relation has philology to the study of ethnology ? 

13. How are new words created ? 

14. What are the essential differences between the development of the 
English language and the development of the German language ? 

15. Discuss : The language of a people indicates better than any other 
means the exact stage of the growth and civilization of that people. 

16. Of what use_is the study of Sanskrit ? 

17. What argument can be made for the study of the dead languages ? 

18. Is it true that the ethnology and history of a people may be best un- 
derstood by a study of its language ? 

19. What relation has the literature of a people to its history? 

20. What relation has a foreign language to a study of English ? 

21. How does a child learn language ? 

22. Have you ever observed children who were learning to hear lan- 
guage and to s]ieak ? 

23. What relation has hearing-language to speaking ? 

24. Give an account of the difficulties which a child must overcome in 
learning to hear language. 

25. What is an idiom ? 

26. Is it true that idioms are more difficult to learn in a language than 

27. What is the function of a word ? 

28. What is voice ? 

29. What relation has voice-to speech ? 

30. How is each and every voice-element made ? 

31. What is enunciation ? Pronunciation? Rhythm in language ? In- 
flection ? 

32. Discuss : Voice, rhythm, harmony, melody and emphasis are spon- 
taneous — they assist in articulation and pronunciation. 

Theory of Concentration : Qiiestions and Suggestions. 471 

33. When is a word lunctioned ? 

34. : Learning to hear language is learning to function words 
and idioms. 

35. What are appropriate activities? Wliat is the difference between 
corresponding activities and appropriate activities ? 

36. Give the general law by which all symbols are learned. 

37. Give the special law under which a word is functioned. 

38. Explain how a word acts in arousing appropriate activities. 

39. How may a word act without arousing appropriate activities ? 

40. Is it true that the law given on p. 181 is the only law by which 
words can be learned ? 

41. What rule governs the number of repetitions of acts of association 
in learning a word ? 

42. What do you understand by intensity of acts of association ? 

43. State the rule given on p. 181 of intensity of acts of association. 

44. Upon what does mtensity of acts of association depend? 

45. What is interest ? 

46. Is it true that there is no interest in the effect of a word itself? 

47. Is it true that each sound and each word made is made by itself and 
must be heard by itself ? And is it also true that the synthesis of these 
sounds is perfectly automatic ? 

48. Is it true that no child, nor even grown person without training, 
ever attempts to analyze an oral word. 

49. What is meant by the word acting instantaneously? 

50. Test the illustrations given on p. 183. 

51. How are idioms learned? 

53. When does a child begin to hear language ? 

53. What is the parent's method of teaching language? 

54. Supposing a mother should attempt to teach the elementary sounds 
first, and then unite them into words — what would happen ? 

55. By what energy does a child overcome all the difficulties of hearing- 
language ? 

56. How long does it take a child to understand the oral language ? 

57. What is the universal rule with parents in attempting to teach chil- 
dren the oral language? 

58. Do little children learn short words before they do long ones? 

59. What is a natural method ? 

60. Is it true that there is in reality only one true method? 

61. What has imitation to do with learning language ? 

63. Is it true that a child learns all forms of speech by imitation ? 

63. What has a child acquired of language when he enters school ? 

64. Is it possible to continue the home method of teaching oral language, 
or can a better method be introduced? 

65. Should the language taught a child always be adapted to the 
thought ? 

66. Is it right to teach a child a word he does not need for immediate 

67. Is it possible to make thought development the centre and adapt the 
teaching of language at every step in thought ?, 

68. How much practical grammar has a child learned when he enters 
school ? 

69. How should teaching of grammar be continued ? 


Talks on Pedagogics. 

70. What reforms are necessary in tlie teaching of language ? 

71. Have you ever known children to be taught to speak and write the 
English language under the immediate impulses of intrinsic thought ? 

72. Do you believe that the home method may be continued in school 
both in teaching speech and writing, and that all forms of speech, including 
spelling, etymology, and syntax, may be taught under the impulses of in- 
trinsic thought ? Why ? Why not ? 

73. Can you give a good reason why children are taught by purely 
formal methods ? 

74. What improvements in teaching language can you suggest? 

Chapter IX. — Eeadiistg and its Eelations to the 
Centeal Subjects. 

1. Define reading ; hearing-language ; observation. 

2. What is the difference between reading and oral reading ? Which is 
of the greater importance ? What is the difference between reading, hear- 
ing-language, and observation "? Is it not ju&t as logical to discuss hearing- 
language and speech, and observation and speech, under one head as to 
discuss reading and oral language ? 

3. What are the relations between the three modes of attention ? In 
what does the difference between the three modes of attention consist ? Is 
it true that reading in itself has no educative value ? Upon what does 
the educative value of reading depend ? 

4. What is the difference between reading and the study of books ? 
5.' Has reading any educational value? 

6. What is the relative value of reading ? 

7. How can reading be made a means of education ? 

8. Is it true that every human being can have no thought but his own? 
Is it scientific to say that reading is getting the thought of an author? 

9. Upon Avhat do the conscious activities aroused by reading depend? 

10. Is it true that reading is thinking and nothing else ? 

11. When is reading educative ? 

12. What is meant by hemming in and intensifying thought ? 

13. What is the function of a printed word? 

14. What are appropriate activities ? What are corresponding activi- 
ties ? 

15. Is it true that a word is an object ? 

16. Is the immediate action of the printed word precisely like the action 
of any other object ? 

17. Explain : The mental correspondence of a word has no value in itself. 

18. When is a word functioned ? 

19. What words by themselves recall definite activities ? 

20. What words assist other words in recalling definite activities ? 

21. What are the functions of conjunctions, prepositions, adjectives, ad- 
verbs and verbs ? 

22. What is the function of a sentence ? Does a sentence always arouse 
complete thought ? 

23. Please try experiments upon yotirself in writing words. Have some 
one write words upon the blackboard ; shut your eyes until they are written ; 

Theory of Concent rat ion : Qiiestions and Suggestions. 473 

open tbem and try to catch the immediate effect of the words. Write sen- 
tences in the same way. Write words in a foreign language. 

24. What is the difference between the action of a word you under- 
stand, and one you don't understand ? 

25. What is the difference between the function of a word and the 
function of a sentence ? 

26. Discuss : Teaching reading is the presentation of conditions for the 
functioning of words. 

27. State the law for the functioning of printed words. Is this the only 
law by which words are functioned ? 

28. In what action of the mind do the appropriate activities come first ? 
In what does the effect of the word come first ? 

29. Why cannot a word be functioned by one act of association ? 

30. When can a word be functioned by one act of association '? 

31. Discuss : Whatever directly assists in acts of association may be used 
in teaching reading ; whatever does not assist should be omitted. 

32. Should children ever be taught anything in which they are not 
deeply interested ? Is it necessary to teach children anything in which they 
are not interested ? 

33. Is the word in itself any source of interest to a child ? Is it gener- 
ally repulsive ? 

34. Do the right appropriate activities arouse emotions of pleasure ? 

35. Can a child learn to read by the same method that he learns to hear 
language ? 

36. State what you know about the history of teaching reading. 

37. What did the ijhilanthropins try to do ? 

38. What is the phonic method ? What is the phonetic method ? What 
is the word-building method ? Which is preferable ? Why ? 

39. Give the psychology of the A, B, C method. 

40. Give some psychological reason why a child should learn the names 
of the letters before he learns the word. Do the names of letters assist 
in pronunciation ? How ? Illustrate. 

41. Name all the methods that have had to do with the forms of words 

42. What do you know of Comenius ? 

43. How did he try to teach boys Latin ? 

44. How did he arouse the energy which overcomes the difficulties of 
the printed word ? 

45. How have pictures been used in teaching reading? 

46. What do pictures arouse in the mind ? 

47. What do you know of the German Normal Worter Methode ? 

48. Which will arouse the most intense mental action, generally, a pict- 
ure or an object ? 

49. What do you know of the American reformers in teaching reading — 
J. Russell Webb, Dr. Gallaudet, and Geo. F. Farnham ? 

50. What are the conditions for an intense act of association ? 

51. What causes the intensity in an act of association ? 

52. Is it true that an oral word is far more complex than a written 
word ? Analyze both and decide. 

53. In learning a foreign language, did you ever try to learn a sound al- 
together new to you ? What were the difficulties? 

474 Talks on Pedagogics. 

54. Whicli is the more difficult to learn, to read a foreign language or 
to speak it ? 

55. What powers does a child have when he begins to learn reading? 

56. Is it true that what a child loves best is best for him ? 

57. Is it pedagogical to begin the study of the sciences, myth, and his- 
tory in the primary school ? 

58. Can these subjects be made an inexhaustible source of interest to 
the child ? 

59. Is it possible to teach reading under the mental energy induced by 
the study of these subjects ? Why ? Why not ? 

60. Discuss : That which is best in education, that which is best for the 
body, mind, and soul is unconsciously acquired. 

61. What is the prevailing standard of education among parents? 

62. Why do parents adhere so tenaciously to the A, B, C method? 

63. What is the difference between appropriate activities aroused by ob- 
jects and appropriate activities aroused by a study of science ? 

64. When should a word be given a child on the blackboard ? 

65. Why is the use of the blackboard the best way to teach children to 

66. Why is it best to begin with script before printing is used ? 

67. Give all the reasons you know for the use of the blackboard and for 
the use of script. 

68. What is the theory of concentration in teaching reading ? 

69. Discuss : Under the theory of concentration it takes no appreciable 
time to teach reading. 

70. Can reading be made a continual means of enhancing thought ? 

71. If the theory of concentration in teaching reading is true, what sav- 
ing of time can there be made ? 

72. State some of the opportunities and means pupils may have for the 
study of science and history in the primary school. 

73. What is the relation of imitation to the teaching of reading ? 

74. How may writing be taught as the best possible means of teaching 
reading ? 

75. Is it possible for a child to write a word the moment it is presented 
to him upon the blackboard, with the supposition that he is very much in- 
terested in the word itself ? Have you ever tried it ? 

76. How are children obstructed in their mental and physical action by 

77. Is it true that writing is a far better means of teaching reading than 
oral reading itself ? 

78. When should a child be trained to write sentences on the black- 
board ? 

79. When a child writes a sentence correctly, what has he learned ? 

80. Can all spelling, punctuation, capitalization, be taught under the 
immediate impulses of intrinsic thought ? 

81. Why should a child never copy — that is, why should not the word 
remain on the board longer than to allow the child to merely glance at it ? 

82. What Is the function of oral reading? 

83. What is the use of the oral word in teaching reading ? 

84. Is it possible for an oral word to arouse the appropriate activities 
with sufficient intensity ? 

Theoiy of Concentration : Oiiestions and Suggestions. 475 

85. Is it econoniy to use tbe oral word learned in arousing ajipropriate 
activities ? 

86. Wliat is teaching ? 

87. Give the definition of teaching on p. 210. 

88. What effect has it upon the child's mind to write a word under the 
impulse of thought ? 

89. The A, B, C method is unscientific and wrong ; there is not a single 
argument in its favor. Discuss. 

90. Criticise the phonic method. 

91. Explain Dr. Leigh's phonetic method. 

92. What are the uses of the phonic and phonetic methods ? 

93. Of what advantage would it be if the English language were pho- 
netic ■? 

94. Why should not a child read orally just as freely and spontaneously 
as he speaks ? 

95. Is the word-method a Chinese method ? 

96. What is the law of analogy ? 

97. Is it possible for a child to learn words without unconsciously asso- 
ciating the forms of the words and the forms of the letters with sounds ? 

98. Can you give any good reason why, for ages, teachers have been 
through a barren wilderness of methods and devices for teaching dead 
forms ? 

99. What is the pedagogical use of phonics ? 

100. How can children be trained to pronounce words slowly ? 

101. Of what help will slow pronunciation of words be to children in 
learning to read ? Of what help in articulation ? 

102. Can a child be so trained by the phonic and phonetic methods as to 
pronounce words without having the thought they should recall ? 

103. Is it pedagogical to use reading as a means of enhancing the 
thought acquired by the study of the central subjects from the tirst to the 
last steps ? 

104. When should literature be read and studied ? 

105. What should be the reading in geography ; in science ; in history? 

106. What other reading should be used ? 

107. What is literature ? 

108. Should children read lessons when they cannot pronounce all the 
words orally ? 

109. How can reading be made a potent means of developing mental 
power ? 

Chaptee X. — Modes of Expression". 

1. Discuss the first sentence of the chapter. 

2. Is it true that normal acts of expression develop the nervous 
system ? 

3. What relation have attention and expression? 

4. Define expression. 

5. What are the modes of expression ? 

6. Are these modes of expression distinct from each other ? How are 
they made distinct ? 

7. Is it true that all works of man's liands are the products of expres- 
sion ? 

47 6 Talks on Pedagogics. 

8. Is language the greatest outcome of tliouglit and expression ? 

9. Discuss : The language of a people is its ethnographic body, created 
by its composite soul. 

10. By what means do we trace the several stages of evolution from 
savagery to barbarism, and from barbarism to civilization ? 

11. What is ethnology? How is it studied V 

12. Discuss: All education is by self-effort. 

13. What is the greatest product of expression ? 

14. State carefully and discuss the questions on p. 226. 

15. Has each mode a particular function in the development of the race ? 

16. Discuss: " Necessity is the mother of invention." 

17. What is motive, and what has it to do with human action ? 

18. Discuss : The higher the motive, the higher the human action. 
Motive determines method and controls result. Is all education the de- 
velopment of motive ? 

19. What is the will ? What has the will to do with motive ? 

20. Is every act of the ego an act of the will? 

21. What is said of unexecuted motive ? Is it true? 

22. How do acts of expression develop the body ? 

23. What is an agent of expression ? 

24. What is skill ? What is adequate skill ? 

25. Discuss the statements in italics on p. 228. 

26. What is gesture ? 

27. Discuss : Gesture is the primitive and elemental mode of expression. 

28. What was gesture to the savage ? 

29. What is gesture to the highly developed being? 

30. Discuss : (Gesture was probably the primitive mode of expression, 
out of which were developed all the other modes of expression, with the 
exception of voice, speech, and vocal music. 

31. What relation has gesture to drawing, modeling, and painting 

32. What is meant by the conceptive modes of expression 1 

33. What relation has gesture to articulate voice? 

34. What is a descriptive gesture ? 

35. What is the relation of gesture to emphasis? 

36. What relation has gesture to music ? 

37. Is dancing an essential to education ? 

38. What are the essentials of grace? 

39. What is grace indicative of ? 

40. What is voice ? 

41. What are the organs of voice ? 

42. What other modes of expression were evolved out of voice ? 

43. What is the relation of a primitive gesture to inarticulate voice? 

44. Present theories of how articulate sounds were first developed. 

45. What is onomatopoeia ? 

46. What is the ryhthm of inarticulate voice ? The rhythm of speech ? 

47. How is the rhythm of speech marked ? 

48. What is the relation of rhythm of speech to vocal music? What is 
the function of vocal music? What is the educational value of vocal 
music ? 

49. What is the reflex action of gesture upon the mind ? Of voice ? Of 
speech ? Of music ? 

50. What is music to the savage ? 

Theory of Concetitration : Qiiestions and Suggestions. 477 

51. What is the relation of music to the cultivation of religious emo- 
tions ? To barbarism ? To poetry ? 

53. What is the influence of vocal music upon speech ? 

53. What can vocal music express where language fails? 

54. Discuss : That vphich is best for the soul is ever and ever the best 
for the body. 

55. What is the relation of vocal music to the development of the body? 
5(3. Explain. Every act of ezpression requires the action of the whole 


57. What is emotion ? What relation has emotion to human growth ? 

58. How may every mode of expression degrade the being ? 

59. What is making, or manual training ? 

60. What are its products in human history? 

61. What is copying ? What is original construction ? What are the 
difEereuces in mind action between ambition and original construction ? 

62. What motive governs making ? 

63. Suggest theories of how the human race began to construct and 

64. What has been the intellectual value of making to the evolution of 
the race? 

65. Discuss the analysis of making on p. 236. 

66. What is the relation of making to physical training ? 

67. Discuss : Making is Nature's primary method of human growtn. 

68. What are the conceptive modes of expression ? Why are they called 
concept! ve ? What is an individual concept ? 

69. What is the difference between the motive of making and the mo- 
tives of modeling, painting, and drawing ? 

70. What is the main thing to be expressed in art modes of expression? 
What relation has the thought expressed to the individual concept through 
which it is expressed ? 

71. What theory can you suggest concerning the origin of art? 
73. Did art have its beginning in religious instinct ? 

73. What have been the purposes of art in history? 

74. Discuss: Art is the manifestation of the invisible. 

75. What relation has writing to drawing ? 

76. What are hieroglyphics ? 

77. Discuss : The art in a work of art can never be copied. 

78. Discuss : Mere imitation of art has no relation to art itself, and no 
educative influence. 

79. Discuss the motive of art. 

80. Did you ever hear of a great artist who began his apprenticeship by 
copying works of art ? 

81. What is the greatest function of art ? 

82. What is the reactive influence of art expression upon the mind ? 

83. How does art develop motive ? 

84. Copying merely externalizes an individual concept ; the individual 
concept is the means of embodying the thought in art. Discuss. 

85. What is a partial symbol ? 

86. How is thought expressed by modeling ? 

87. What is form ? 

88. By what sense is knowledge of form acquired ? 

89. What is the educational value of modeling? 

478 Talks on Pedagogics. 

90. What sense does it cultivate? 

91. Discuss : The less the quantity of material used in realizing tliouglit 
tlie greater must be the concentration of thought. 

93. Would art have any function if it did not reveal more than the 
common eye can see in the objects painted or drawn ? 

93. Is there a true order of evolution of the conceptive modes of expres- 
sion ? 

94. Is making the fundamental mode, and should it be followed by 
modeling, then painting, and then drawing? 

95. Should painting precede drawing in education? 

96. What is meant by " color is the great representative sense" ? 

97. What relation has making to modeling? Modeling to painting? 
Painting to drawing ? Which is more difficult ? Why ? 

98. Wliat is the physical training gained in all art expression ? 

99. What is progress in skill? 

100. How should all art works be criticised ? 

101. What is adequate skill ? 

102. Can a child have adequate skill ? 

103. What is the relation of grace to art expression ? 

104. Discuss the question : Is each and every tuode of expression an 
indispensable factor in the harmonious growth of body, mind, and soul ? 

105. What Is speech ? 

106. Analyze speech. 

107. What are the spontaneous qualities of the voice ? 

108. Is it true that the mechanical obstacles in speech are more difficult 
than in any other mode of expression ? 

109. Discuss : The mechanism of speech is wholly a product of imita- 

110. In acquisition, what advantage has speech over all other modes of 
expression ? 

111. Is it true that the speech of a child always conforms to his thought 
power ? 

113. Is it true that no word or sentence is ever learned solely for future 

113. Should words ever be learned for future use ? 

114. What is the motive of speech ? 

115. What is the relation of spontaneous qualities of voice to speech ? 

116. What is writing? How was it first developed ? 

117. Analyze the forms of writing. 

118. Discuss : The mechanical forms of writing are far less complex 
than the mechanical forms of speech. 

119. What is the main difficulty in writing? 

120. "Which has the stronger motive generally, speech or writing ? 

121. Compare the educational values of speech and writing. 

122. Discuss: Expression is ethical action. 

123. What is the intellectual function of all modes of expression? 

124. What is the spiritual function of all modes of expression ? 

125. Deiine each mode of expression. Compare each mode with each 
and all the others. 

126. What relations have the modes of expression to each other ? 

127. Can a human being be fully developed without the exercise of 
and every mode of expi'essiou ? 

Theory of Concentration : Questions and Suggestions. 479 

128. Iq education can the exercise of one mode be intermitted without 
damage to the devekipment of the being- ? 

12'J. Are all the modes of expression absolutely necessary for develop- 
ment ? 

130. Discuss : The exercise of all the modes of expression develops the 
body in the best possible way. 

131. Discuss : Should handwork be made an organic factor in all educa- 
tion, from the kindergarten to the university, inclusive? 

133. Can a human being be thoroughly educated without practice of 
that mode of expression called making ? 

133. Is it true that the strongest intellectual men of America — states- 
men, lav/yers, and ministers — got the foundation of their education in the 
shop and on the farm ? 

134. What is the hi&tei-y of aristocratic families who did not train their 
children to hand-work? 

135. Is it true that laziness is an acquirement ? 

135. Discuss : There never was a lazy child born upon earth. 

137. Discuss : The end and aim of education consist in teaching the 
child to work, to love work, and put his brain into work. 

138. Discuss : Education is self-effort in the direction of educative 

Vd%. Discuss the subject of manual training in primary and grammar 
schools. Is it absolutely necessarj- ? 

140. What shall be done with the children in large cities who have no 
opportunities for hand-work ? 

141. What is the narrowing effect of making one article continually? 
143. What is the moral tendency of manual training ? 

143. Is there time for manual training in our schools ? 

144. Should there be a manual training shop attached to every school? 

145. Would children study better and get their lessons better if they 
had manual training at least one hour every day? Why ? Why not ? 

146. What are the educational values of reading, penmanship, and 
arithmetic ? 

147. Discuss : Reading, writing, and arithmetic, have in themselves no 
educational values, 

148. Discuss ; Education is not so much a matter of time as of quality. 

149. What arithmetic is there in manual training? What study of 
form ? 

150. Discuss : Manual training is primary logic. 

151. What is the practical use of art in the modes of expression? 

153. What do carpenters, architects, shoemakers, dressmakers, garden- 
ers, need of form and color ? 

153. What can you say of mistaken vocation ? 

154. Is it possible to give pupils tlie education that will lead them to 
find the vocation for which they are adapted? 

155. What has the exercise of all the modes of expression by the pupils 
to do with the teacher ? 

156. Discuss : The teacher is able, through the exercise of each and 
every mode of expression, to watch and judge of the character of the pupil, 

157. Discuss : Motive is cultivated by righteous action. 

158. Give a resume of the influence of the modes of expression upon the 
human being. 

480 Talks on Pedagogics. 

(1) Moral effect. 

(2) Intellectual development. 

(3) Physical training. 

Chaptek XI.— Unity of Expressive Acts. 

1. Discuss the first paragraph : 

(a) Define freedom. 
(5) What is liberty ? 

(e) What relation has liberty to freedom ? 

2. Discuss : " Education is the economy of self -effort." 

3. What is unity of action in attention ? 

4. Define unity of action in expression. 

5. Define teaching and training. ^ 
(ffl) Can there be teaching without training ? 

(b) Can there be training without teaching ? 

6. What is skill in expression ? 

7. What is the perfection of skill ? 

8. What are the elements of grace ? Define ease, equilibrium, and 

9. Give illustrations of ease and equilibrium. 

10. Ease and eqiiilibrium should precede precision. Discuss. Illus- 
trate attempts to teach precision first. 

11. What is the law of the diffusion of physical strength ? 

12. What is the effect of training the extremities first ? 

13. Discuss : Too early training in precision isolates the agents of ex- 

14. Define genuineness in acts of expression. 

15. How is unity of action illustrated by the movements of children? 

16. Ease and equilibrium are characteristic of great orators, actors, and 
singers. Discuss. 

17. Illustrate broken unity of action. 

18. What is the effect of imitating copies in writing ? Can writing be 
taught and unity of action preserved? 

19. What do you understand by broken unity of action ? Give ex- 

20. Does a child ever make a mistake in emphasis? 

21. What is the mental effect of mere verbal memorizing ? 
32. Discuss the list of means to bi'eak unity of action, p. 570. 

23. Discuss the psychological explanation of broken unity. 

24. Discuss self-consciousness. What is the difference between self 
consciousness and confidence in self? Are you self-conscious? Illustrate. 

25. What is pedantry ? Affectation ? Awkwardness ? What is the 
physical effect of pedantry ? 

26. How is self-consciousness induced ? 

27. Give personal illustrations of fear to express thought. Discuss false 
modesty and pride. 

28. Is it true that teaching very often has its most marked outcome in 

29. Define self-conceit. Which is the worse product — fear or self-con- 
ceit ? Why ? 

Theory of Concentration : Qiiestions and Suggestions. 48: 

30. Is it true that fancied dulness and stupidity in cliildren are caiised 
by a natural and instinctive distaste for unnatural and uueducative study ? 

31. Read tlie story of Sissy Jupe and the boy Bitzer in " Hard Times." 

32. How much of such work have you experienced in school ? 

33. What is the " Great Transgression " ? 

34. Discuss •: Prizes, rewards, and per-cents in school are worse than 
corporal punishment. 

35. What is the educational value of flat-copy drawing? 

36. Discuss " overburdening " in school. 

37. Is it true that genuine educative work is the healthiest kind of ex- 
ercise for both mind and body ? 

38. Discuss : The prolific cause of overburdening is not genuine work, 
but mental drudgery. 

39. Discuss motive in relatioa to rewards, prizes, and per-cents. 

40. Discuss : Self-consciousness is an incipient disease. 

41. What is cant and aiiectation? 

42. Is it possible by the exercise of the highest art in teaching to pre- 
serve unity of action in attention and expression ? Why? Why not? 

43. What is the first hypothesis given on p. 279 ? Is this a fair state- 
ment of the motive ot very much work done in school? 

44. Try to recall the motive under which you worked in school. 

45. Did you love your studies for the truth you found, or were you con- 
trolled by the desire for rewards, prizes, and approbation, or fear of punish- 
ment ? 

46. What is the second hypothesis on p. 280? 

47. Is economical education possible under the second hypothesis ? 

48. How can habits of self-consciousness be overcome ? 

49. Discuss : Unity of action in attention and expression is the highest 
outcome of human growth. 

50. What is meant by a personal ideal? What is your ideal? What 
influence has your ideal over your work ? 

51. How much energy have you wasted in your education ? 

52. How may self-confidence be destroyed ? 

53. Much so-called education consists in making children afraid to try. 

54. When is it ever necessary to learn dead forms ? 

55. Discuss: "We don't want any thinking here ! Tell me what the 
book says." Have you had any like experiences in your education ? 

56. Discuss : The only way habits of self -consciousness may be over- 
come is by the cultivation of an overpowering altruistic motive. 

57. Discuss : The pupil imitates the teacher in everything he does— his 
manner, skill, and modes of thinking. Proficiency in any form of expres- 
sion lessens tlie work of the teacher at least one half. Or, to put it another 
way, — the teacher who is not skilful in any mode of expression that he 
teaches has to waste a vast amount of energy in order to teach it well ? 

58. Discuss : Knowledge cannot be imparted. 

59. What is the responsibility of a teacher ? 

60. What should be the attitude of a teacher toward his work ? 

61. What motive should be cultivated in all modes of expression ? 

62. Discuss : Motive determines and controls means and methods. 

63. Discuss : The unity of action can only be maintained in education 
under the influence of the strongest altruistic motive. 

482 Talks on Pedagogics. 

Chaptee XII. — Acquisition of Modes of Expeessiok. 

1. What are tlie two hypotheses in education ? 

2. Is the first hypothesis a fair statement of the motive in formal 

3. Illustrate the application of the first hypothesis. Give illustrations 
not given in this book. 

4. Is it true that mechanical work upon means of thought manifesta- 
tion takes more than two thirds of the time spent by pupils in primary and 
grammar grades ? 

5. Discuss : Present good is everlasting good. 

6. Discuss each one of the propositions under the second hypothesis. 

7. Is the first proposition true ? If true, how can it be applied '? 

8. Discuss : All acts of expression should be ethical. How can they be 
made ethical 1 

9. Discuss : Educative expression intensifies intrinsic thought, culti- 
vates physical power, trains the will, and enhances motive. 

10. Discuss : Personal energy, intensified by interest and a desire to 
manifest thought, when scientifically directed, is sufficient to overcome all 
the technical difficulties of form. 

11. Explain and discuss a, b, c, d, e under the fourth proposition, 

12. If the first proposition be true, what time would it save ? 

13. Discuss : Education is the realization of possibilities. 

14. What possibilities in your education have you left unrealized ? 

15. How much more could you have learned if you had had the right 
conditions for the highest action of the whole being ? 

16. How is speech acquired ? 

17. What is the incentive to practise speech with the child ? 

18. Define making. 

19. What should always be the motive in manual training? 

20. What is the motive in sloyd ? 

21. State the three questions given on pp. 293-4. 

22. Discuss carefully the answer to the first question. 

23. Is the answer given sufficient ? 

24. Are there sufficient opportunities to exercise skill in the central sub- 
jects of study ? 

25. What is the function of each and every mode of expression ? 

26. Can you draw ? Why not ? 

27. Shall the child be allowed to draw anything and everything of 
which he has a concept ? 

28. What is the efficient correspondence to a concept? The adequate 
correspondence to an object ? 

29. The correspondence of the drawing to the concept should be the 
basis of all criticism. Discuss. 

30. What is genuineness in art ? 

31. Can you detect genuineness? Discuss: A teacher should demand 
that every effort of the child in the expression of thought should be thor- 
oughly genuine. 

32. Discuss : Crudeness in the expression of children has the distinctive 
mark of genuineness, while the demand for exactness and accuracy in draw- 
ing and painting is a demand for dishonest expression. 

Theory of Concentration : Qiiestions and Suggestions. 483 

33. How many opportunities for drawing is there in teaching geography, 
geology, the study of minerals ? What drawing can be introduced into the 
study of physics and chemistry ? In manual training ? In botany ? In 
zoology ? History ? 

34. Discuss : Everything in education should be judged by its tendency. 
Also discuss : The courage to be crude is the only path to success. 

85. What relation have modeling and painting to drawing? Why 
should we begin with modeling ? 

36. What relation have geographical drawings to the teaching of his- 
tory ? 

37. Compare the opportunities to draw in the study of science with the 
opportunities to draw from fiat copies and models. 

38. Why should every teacher be skilful in art ? Why are teachers not 
skilful in art ? Have you had time enough, if you had spent it profitably, 
to have acquired skill in art ? 

39. Why is it far more difficult for an adult to learn to draw than for a 
child ? 

40. Discuss : A child has no complex concepts. The more complex a 
concept is, the more difficult it is to express it by drawing, if practice in 
drawing has not kept pace with the growth of the concepts. 

41. What great advantage has speech in mechanical execution? Is it 
possible to make modeling, drawing, and painting nearly as common modes 
of expression as speech ? 

42. Discuss the question given on p. 299. 

43. Discuss : The most pernicious mistake in education is the logical 
arrangement of subjects, classed without regard to the power of the child. 

44. Grive some account of this so-called logical arrangement in teaching 

45. What is the great fault of the logical arrangement ? 

46. In overcoming a difficulty in form, what is the difference between 
the mere mechanical execution, and the execution under the impulse of in- 
teresting thought ? 

47. Have you had any experience in this direction ? 

48. Discuss : The pedagogical arrangement of difficulties in the expres- 
sion of thought should always conform to the thought itself. In other 
words, there is no danger in allowing a child to express everything and 
anything in the line of education that he thinks. 

49. Illustrate the crudeness of concepts by your own concepts. Have 
you a distinct concept of any object on earth ? If you have, describe or 
draw it. 

50. Why is a child pleased with his work in art ? 

51. Discuss : A felt inadequacy is the only guide to criticism. 

52. Why does an accurate drawing conform in no wise to a child's 
thought ? 

53. Discuss flat-copy drawing. What has it done for you ? What does 
it do for the child ? 

54. Flat-copy drawing is the most effective means to obstruct observa- 
tion that can possibly be used. Give the illustration of drawing leaves 
from fiat copies. Why did not the children draw from leaves ? 

55. What should always be the guide to expression and self-criticism? 

56. Is it right to allow a child to draw anything he pleases, — hills, 
valleys, bushes, trees, houses, etc. ? 

484 Talks on Pedagogks. 

57. How can a teaclier break the unity of action ? 

58. How can self-confidence be destroyed ? 

59. Discuss: "Except ye become as a little cliild." Wliat is tlie psy- 
chological meaning of this sentence ? 

60. Can all children, if properly instructed, become efficient in all modes 
of expression ? 

61. Discuss : Education is the generation of power. 

62. What is the theory of the typical method of drawing ? 

63. Discuss : The normal movement of the mind is from particulars to 
generals, from crudeness and obscurity to clearness, distinctness, and 
adequacy ? 

04. Discuss : Modeling, painting, or drawing typical forms is making, 
pure and simple. 

65. How may art feeling be developed? How may it be crushed and 
killed V 

66. What should be the end and aim of all art teaching? 

67. Discuss "Art for art's sake." 

68. What is the theory of concentration in teaching art ? 

69. What is the educative value of drawing for preparation for artistic 
work ? 

70. Keview the discussion and point out the mistakes. 

Chapter XIII. — Speech and Weitikg. 

1. Explain : Demands for expression should be demands for educative 

2. What are the educational values of gesture and vocal music ? 

3. What is the mechanics of speech ? What is pronunciation ? What 
is an idiom ? 

4. What are the instinctive attributes of voice ? Why are they called 
instinctive ? 

5. What has imitation to do with the acquisition of language? 

6. Define hearing-language. How is hearing-language acquired ? 

7. Give your experiences in observing children when they are learning 
10 talk. 

8. Is it true that the mechanical difficulties in learning to talk are 
greater than in learning any other mode of expression ? Why ? Why not? 

9. Is it possible to teach children to write by the same method by 
which they learn to speak ? 

10. What impulses does a child have in learning to speak ? 

11. What are the spontaneous factors of the voice ? 

12. Can melody, emphasis, and harmony be taught by imitation ? Why ' 
Why not ? 

13. How does a child learn to pronounce words ? 

14. Explain : In learning to speak, the language of a child conforms to 
the thought. 

15. Discuss : A child never makes any mistake in emphasis. 

16. In learning to speak, the child preserves unity of action ; can this 
unity of action be preserved in other modes of expression ? 

17. Discuss : All improved methods of teaching that have ever been dis- 
covered sprang from a knowledge of the spontaneous activities of the child. 

Theory of Concentration : Questions and Suggestions. 485 

18. Is it true that right methods in school are simply the continuation 
of Nature's methods ? 

19. When should a child begin to learn to write? 

20. Compare the mechanics of speech with the mechanics of writing. 

21. Which is the better instrument of expression — the vocal organs or 
the hand-aud-arm? 

23. Is it true that the mechanical difficulties of writing are very much 
less than those of speech ? 

23. Compare thought action in speech with thought action in writing. 
What advantages has speech over writing, so far as the thought is con- 
cerned ? 

24. Discuss : Unity of action requires the minimum expenditure of phys- 
ical energy for intelligible or legible expression. 

25. Discuss : The smooth line is an infallible indication of ease in 

26. Please take the positions explained on pp. 313, 316, and make a test 
of the statement that by drawing the arm down the angle made will be be- 
tween 51° and 52°. In making these experiments be careful that the eight 
requirements are exactly followed. 

27. Which is the easier movement — the arm movement or the finger 
movement ? 

28. Give your experiences in observing children learning to write. 

29. Is the finger movement unnatural ? 

30. Make vertical lines with the fingers and then make slanting lines : 
which is the easier movement ? 

31. Is deformity of the hand and body proof positive that positions in 
writing are wrong ? 

32. Is the slanting line made with the least possible expenditure of phys- 
ical energy ? 

33. Can you test the arm movement if you have been accustomed to 
write with the finger movement ? 

34. Give the law of the distribution of energy. 

35. Why is slate-writing wrong? 

36. What is writer's cramp, and what is its cause ? 

37. What is the principal argument in favor of vertical writing? 

38. How can vertical lines be made by the arm movement? 

39. What is the first hypothesis in regard to writing ? 

40. How is this hypothesis applied in learning to write ? 

41. Give the second hypothesis. Is this hypothesis sound theoreti- 
cally ? Why ? Why not ? 

42. Is it possible to acquire adequate skill in writing, under the im- 
pulses of intrinsic thought ? Why ? Why not ? 

43. If it is possible to acquire skill in writing in this way, what time 
would be saved ? What power gained ? 

44. What is the relation of writing to the other modes of expression ? 

45. If the first steps in reading are given and the children are inter 
ested in thought, can they write the word as they see it written by the 
teacher ? Did you ever try it ? 

46. Discuss : Children should not be allowed to copy words, or to look at 
the word while they are writing it. 

47. How soon can children be led to write original sentences ? 

48. What is involved in the correct writing of original sentences? 

4^6 Talks on Pedagogics. 

49. How can the first steps in reading be taught ? Is it true tbat if 
cliildren read a lesson they liave themselves written, and that lesson after- 
wards be printed, that they will read the print as well as they did the 
script? Have you ever tried it ? 

50. Why should the teacher write well and rapidly upon the black- 
board ? 

51. Discuss : The main thing is the tact, skill, and power to excite inter- 
esting related thought in the minds of the pupils. Is it possible to have in- 
tense interest of the part of pupils in every lesson ? 

53. What is meant by the " organic circuit " ? 

53. Is it necessary to give children writing lessons if they write every 
word they learn in reading and afterwards write original sentences freely ? 

54. How can writing be made an effective means of teaching reading ? 

55. Why is the blackboard the best means of beginning the first steps in 
writing 1 

56. Discuss : Slow writing cannot be the expression of immediate 

57. What is the educative value of rapid writing ? 

58. Is it possible to teach spelling, punctuation, capitalization, hj the 
writing of original sentences ? 

59. What is meant by sinking skill in writing into the automatic ? 

60. How may writing be made an efficient means of mental develop- 
ment ? 

61. What is the function of speech and writing in education? What 
relation have speech and writing to each other ? 

62. How should rapid writing be used in all recitations ? Of what use 
is the preservation of written work ? 

63. Have you learned to write well upon the blackboard? How much 
practice have you had in writing ? 

64. What is the educational value of grammar? 

65. What relation has grammar to philology and psj^chology? Is it 
true that English is a comparatively grammarless language ? How should 
grammar be taught ? What is the old method of teaching grammar ? 

66. Should grammar be made an essential factor in all teaching ? 

67. How should incorrect habits of speech be changed ? 

68. Should a child ever be allowed to see or hear a wrong form of 
language ? 

69. Why should the teacher use correct English ? 

70. When should the accidents of grammar be taught ? 

71. What is the use of parsing and analysis? 

73. What is the economy of the plan of Concentration in teaching 
grammar ? 

73. What is oral reading? What is the difference between reading and 
oral reading ? What is the difference between oral reading and speech ? 

74. Discuss the development of motive in oral reading. 

75. What should be the standpoint of grammar in oral reading ? 

76. Discuss : The demand for oral reading should be a demand for in- 
tensity of thought action. 

77. How can unity of action be preserved in oral reading? 

78. Discuss : The most serious fault in teaching reading consists in 
making oral reading an end in itself. 

Theory of Concentration : Qiiestions and Suggestions. 487 

79. Is it possible to preserve the child's beauty and perfection of 
" ? 

80. How can this be done ? 

81. What is the main fault with most methods in teaching reading ? 
83. What are the most important rules to be observed in teaching oral 

reading ? 

83. What is the value of questioning ? 

84. What improvements should be made in methods of teaching read- 

Chapter XIV. — School Government and Moral Training. 

1. What is the purpose of a school? What is meant by educative 
work ? What is school order ? Of what does the process of education con- 
sist? What is method ? 

2. What is teaching ? What is training ? 

3. What is the value of the community life in school to the child ? 

4. How may all the rules of order in school come under the motto : 
" Everything to help and nothing to hinder." 

5. What is the best test of order in school ? 

6. Should children be allowed to whisper ? Why ? Why not ? 

7. What is the perfect ideal of order ? 

8. How should the initial steps in preserving order be taken 1 

9. What is the highest qualification of a teacher ? 

10. What is the value of a teacher's skill in order ? 

11. What is tact? 

12. How does courage manifest itself ? 

13. Discuss : A teacher should never lose a moment's time in trivial 

14. Discuss : Order limits personal energy to educative work. What is 
educative work ? 

15. How can a teacher ascertain what is most needed by a pupil ? 

16. Why should a child study history ? Is the proper study of history 
moral ? 

17. What is patriotism ? What is the best kind of patriotism ? 

18. By what should a teacher be governed in selecting subjects in 
history ? 

19. What is the educational value of history ? Of biography ? 

20. Is history when taught an essentially moral study ? 

21. Why should children study science? 

22. What subjects in science should a child study ? 

23. What should govern the selection of subjects for study in science ? 

24. Is science an essentially moral study ? 

25. Is the search for truth moral ? 

26. Does science cultivate the imagination ? Does science cultivate the 
luve for truth ? Does science train children to accuracy of thought ? 

27. Is the study of God's work a study of God Himself ? 

28. Which study is the better for the development of morality — history 
or science? Why? 

29. What is civics ? How should civics be taught ? Are all the means 
for the elementary study of civics present in the schoolroom ? 

Talks on Pedagogics. 

30. Discuss : The true study of civics is the development of the al- 
truistic motive. 

31. What is the educational value of class recitation ? 

33. Discuss : The chief function of the teacher is to watch, the action of 
his pupils' minds. 

33. Discuss : A teacher vi'ho is a genuine student will receive far more 
from his pupils than he gives. 

34. Is reciting for a mark or per-cent immoral ? Why ? Why not? 

35. Discuss : All class recitation should lead to independent study on 
the part of pupils. 

36. Is it true that the social factor in education stands far above all 
factors, higher than principles, methods, subjects, and even the teacher ? 

37. Why cannot children be educated at home 'I 

38. What is democracy ? 

39. Is democracy possible without the development of the altruistic 
motive ? 

40. What relation has the common school to the home and the church ? 

41. What advantages has the common school over all other kinds of 
schools ? 

42. Discuss : Ethical life is ethical action. 

43. What is the motive of Sloyd ? 

44. Discuss : Art is truth telling. 

45. Should all acts of expression be genuine and honest ? Are all 
genuine and honest acts of expression ethical ? 

46. Discuss : Every demand for expression is a demand for the discovery 
of truth. 

47. Is it true that all educative work is interesting ; that no one can 
ever study anything that is good without loving it ? 

48. Discuss : True order and moral training are one and the same. 

49. Was the human being created to be moral ? 

50. Are there original tendencies toward morality in every human 
being ? 

51. Discuss : Education consists entirely in the presentation of condi- 
tions for the exercise and outworking of moral power. 

53. Discuss : Education is the outworking of the design of God into 
highest character. 

53. If this hypothesis is true, is it not just as true that all true teaching 
is intrinsically moral ? 

54. Is an unnatural method immoral ? Why 1 Why not ? 

55. What is tlie relation of intellectual and moral power ? 

56. Discuss : All growth is by the laws of God. 

57. What is method? Is natural method moral ? 

58. Discuss : All education consists in the cultivation of the altruistic 

59. If a person is governed by the altruistic motive why will he take 
the greatest care of his body ? Why will he persistently strive to gain 
knowledge ? 

60. What knowledge is needed for the education of man? What not 

61. Explain : Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, 
and all things will be added unto you. 

Theory of Coiicent ration : Qiiestions and Suggestions. 489 

63. How can love for others be cultivated in the schoolroom ? Which, 
can be cultivated the easier — love or selfishness ? 

63. Is it possible to cultivate neither ? 

64. What is the meaning of the sentence, "The truth shall make yoK. 

65. Discuss : Every step onward in civilization is dependent upon find- 
ing and applying the truth. 

66. Discuss : No human being can find the truth for another. 

67. What is meant by ' ' Work out your own salvation " ? 

68. Is reasoning the supreme faculty of being ? 

69. Discuss : Nothing but the right should ever be presented to the 

70. If right is always presented to the child, how will the child know 
that which is wrong ? 

71 . How can good and pure taste be cultivated ? 

73. How are the Chinese detectives of counterfeit coins trained ? 

73. What is the will ? 

74. Discuss : Every act of the ego is an act of the will. 

75. What is the educational value of the training of the will? 

76. Discuss : A strong will is not in itself moral. 

77. What is attention t 

78. Can all acts under each mode of attention be intrinsically moral ? 

79. Can the highest discipline be acquired by educative acts ? Why 
should a child always read pui-e literature ? 

80. What is the moral value of each and every mode of expression ? 

81. What is imagination ? 

83. Is it true that all acts of imagination should be moral? 

83. What is emotion ? 

84. What action of the mind produces the highest emotion ? 

85. What relation has emotion to thought ? What relation has emotion 
to morality ? 

86. What is original inference ? 

87. What relation has it to facts ? 

88. Discuss : Self-effort in making original inferences is the highest 
quality of mental action. 

89. What is meant by quality of mental action ? 

90. Do children take a pure delight in the search for truth ? How 
much experience in this direction have you had in your school course ? 

91. What is self-conceit ? What effect has self-conceit upon the mind? 
93. Are unnatural methods immoral ? 

93. Is corporal punishment wrong? Which is the worst mode of dis- 
cipline—corporal punishment or the giving of prizes and rewards? 

94. How do teachers often neglect to train the wills of children ? 

95. What is the moral effect of subjecting pupils entirely to the 
teacher's will ? 

96. What is the effect upon pupils who have always been abjectly sub- 
servient to a teacher's authority ? 

97. Why should children have opportunities to choose for themselves ? 
9.S. What should be the limit of such choice ? 

99. When should the teacher's will be the pupil's will? How long 
slrtuld this continue ? 

100. Discuss corporal punishment. 

496 Talks on Pedagogics. 

101. Discuss prize and reward giving. 

102. How is selfishness systematically cultivated ? 
103 Should ambition in children be developed ? 

104. Discuss : The apparent necessity for corporal punishment and re- 
ward-giving springs from imperfect teaching. 

105. What is the effect of prize-giving upon a bright child ? Upon a 
dull child ? 

106. Is it possible to present plenty of educative work that children 
love to do and will do without punishment or reward ? Why? Why not? 

107. Discuss : Corporal punishment and reward-giving are a substitute 
for ability on the part of the teacher. 

108. Can character be measured by a per-cent ? Why ? Why not ? 

109. Discuss : Children's souls are starved to death while the universe 
is the bread of life. Also : The fundamental reason why children do not 
act right is because they do not have the conditions for right action. 

110. Discuss : Educative work presents its own reward. 

111. What is the difference between a scientific truth and a sacred 
truth ? 

113. Discuss : There is but one study and that is the study of law. 

113. Discuss : Every text-book used should be a text-book of morals. 
Is there any necessity for text-books limited to the discussion of morals? 

114. Are all acts of education intrinsically moral? Should all text-books 
be text-boolis vipon morals? Does imperfect teaching have an immoral 
tendency ? 

Chapter XV. — Summary of the DocTRi:NrE of Concek- 


1. Discuss, point by point, the summing up of the Doctrine of Con- 
centratioii on pp. 358-366. 

2. What is the centre of all education ? 

3. Define education. 

4. What is the central law of education ? 

5. What is the fundamental principle of education ? 

6. What relation has motive to education ? 

7. What relation has will ? 

8. What is original inference ? 

9. Discuss : The universe is the manifestation through matter of all 
efficient energy. 

10. What is the goal of self-effort ? 

11. Discuss: Everlasting convergence is the law of approach to central 

12. Discuss carefully : There is but one study, and that is a study of law 

13. Is man an instinctive believer in law ? 

14. What should be the rule of adaptation of subjects to development? 

15. Which subject is best adapted for the first steps? 

16. Is science or history preferable ? Why? 

17. Does a child begin all the central subjects instinctivelj ? 

18. What is the effect of Nature upon the child? 

19. What is " suspended judgment " ? 

30. Is it true that creation is going on to-day 1 

Theory of Concentration : Questions and Suggestions. 49^ 

21. Discuss : The more exalted tlie art the more difficult it is to under- 
stand its principles and apply tliem. 

22. What is the method of quantity ? 

28. Discuss : Under the method of quantity, the " Three E's " and a 
little geography and history are all-sufficient. 

24. What is the difference between the method of quantity and the 
method of quality ? 

25. Discuss : The art of teaching consists in the ability to guide self- 
effort in the direction of original inference. 

26. What is the main reason why pupils know so little after having 
studied so much ? 

27. Discuss : Take care of the quality of mental action and quantity 
will take care of itself. ^ 

28. Why do teachers stop studying ? 

29. How should teachers change methods and devices ? 

30. What is the chief value of the doctrine of Concentration ? 

31. What is meant by tentative steps in applying this doctrine ? 

32. Discuss : The doctrine of Concentration presents teachers an eco- 
nomical means of persistent study. 

33. What is the source of enthusiasm in teaching ? 

34. How are subjects isolated in school-work ? 

35. Discuss special teachers and departmental teaching. 

36. Why should a regular teacher have control of all the subjects 
taught to his pupils ? 

87. Is it possible for departmental teachers to understand the charac- 
ters of children ? 

38. Is it true that the study of special subjects narrows the mind ? 

39. Discuss : The pre-eminent virtue of Concentration is the economy of 
mental power. 

40. What are Courses of Study ? What is their use ? When should 
they be revised ? 

41. Tell what you know about the Herbartian theory of Concentration. 
Who was Herbart? Who were his principal disciples ? 

42. What are the essential differences between the Herbartian theory 
and the theory here presented ? Which is preferable ? Why ? 

43. Present a summary of objections to the theory of Concentration. 
How much experience have you had in its application? 

44. The best thing about the theory of Concentration is that it presents 
a working hypothesis for prolonged and profitable study. Discuss. 

The Best Educational Periodicals. 

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